Top Order: With a number of key players ruled out of the IPL due to injury, RPS’ top-order has suffered the most. The lone performer has been Ajinkya Rahane who himself feels good about the way he has batted. Rahane has scored 419 runs in 12 matches at an average of 41.90. An injury to his partner Faf Du Plessis brought a new opener alongside him in Usman Khawaja. The Australian has not been able to convert starts into big ones but may still feature in the line-up against DD. Bailey was promoted up against KKR to keep a right-left combo at the crease and Saurabh Tiwary would therefore be the other option. ALSO READ: Rising Pune Supergiants vs Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2016, Match 49 at Visakhapatnam: Key Battles
Middle Order: The middle-order for RPS hasn’t been at their explosive best. They haven’t been able to finish matches at times even with hard-hitters like Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Thisara Perera present. George Bailey might be rested for the game as Albie Morkel with his all-round abilities might get a chance to play, more so because RPS can try out different things now that they are out of the playoffs contention. Dhoni might also want Irfan Pathan to contribute more somehow although he Irfan was involved in an unfortunate run-out with the captain himself. Irfan didn’t get a chance to bowl either as Dhoni went in with his spinning options on a turner.
Lower Order: Dhoni could well go in with 3 spinners as the pitch at Visakhapatnam has been on the slower side in the matches that have played. Ravichandran Ashwin, Murugan Ashwin and Adam Zampa could all start for RPS against DD. RPS will be hoping Ashwin and Zampa have a good day at office. Zampa’s figures of 6-19 against SRH at the same venue might play on the minds of DD. The young tall fast bowler Ishwar Pandey might get a chance to play tonight in place of Ashok Dinda as the latter has played many games this season.