The teams: Rising Pune Supergiants vs Delhi Daredevils (RPS V DD). MSD’s Supergiants have been far from super this IPL. RPS has been outplayed in almost every game and nothing has worked for Captain Cool. This is the first time in IPL history that a team captained by MSD has failed to make the playoffs. Gambhir almost seemed to mock Dhoni in the last game when he set a conventional test match field when MSD walked in – and this was not the first time! RPS will be looking to play for pride and it seems like they are already thinking about what changes are needed for next year. DD, on the other hand, is in with a real chance of making it to the top 4 after many years. Their bowling was clobbered in the last game by Krunal Pandya but DD will want to make a strong comeback after their 80 run loss to MI.
The Venue: Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakapatnam. The last game here was played just 2 days ago and the Mumbai Indians piled on the runs scoring 206 in 20 overs. Expect another high scoring game!
Our picks for your fantasy team
Usman Khwaja – A class T20 batsman, Khwaja has looked good in the last few games but hasn’t go on to make a big score yet. He will want to impress in the last couple of games to ensure he gets a spot in next year’s IPL. With Rahane steadying the innings at the other end, we expect Khwaja to come out all guns blazing and it could be just what RPS has been looking for all season.
MS Dhoni: Cometh the hour, cometh the man. MSD will be looking to silence his critics. Expect to see him promote himself up the order, take the criticism head-on and let his bat do the talking! Let’s hope the helicopter shot makes an appearance.
Zaheer Khan: Captain Zak really wants to lead DD into the playoffs. In the last game against MI, Zak bowled at an economy rate of less than 6 runs per over even when others went over 10 (including Tahir who went at almost 15 runs per over!). DD will be hoping that he stays fit and picks up some early wickets to give settle their nerves.
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(Original cover artwork by Ishita Mohanty. She tweets here.)