New Delhi, May 12: Rising Pune Supergiant will aim to secure a play-off berth when they meet Delhi Daredevils in their penultimate Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter at the Feroze Shah Kotla here on Friday (May 12). (Preview: DD Vs RPS)
Sitting at the third spot with eight wins and four losses, Pune are currently on 16 points.
They would hope to continue their form and will be eager to bag two crucial points from this tie. A win will put Steve Smith and his boys at the joint top spot with Mumbai Indians and gurantee them a berth in the play-offs stage.
In a massive setback for the RPS would be the absence of Imran Tahir as their most successful bowler in the tournament as left to dispose his duty for the national side.
Tahir picked up 18 wickets from 12 games he played in the tournament. He bowled at an economy rate of 7.85 and he's at second spot in the Purple Cap table. Clearly his presence will be badly felt by RPS at Feroz Shah Kotla.
Same is the case with another South African Faf du Plessis, who has also left for South Africa to prepare for ODI series against England and later for Champions Trophy 2017.
Australian spinner Adam Zampa will make it to the RPS side in Tahir's absence but he hasn't played much in the tournament.
The poor performance of their opener Ajinkya Rahane will be a concern for the side. Also, the senior batsmen haven't been too effective with the bat in the tournament barring a few occasions.
Delhi on the other hand would play with the same side that came out against Gujarat Lions in Kanpur.
Pune were badly bruised and battered by Daredevils in their previous encounter in front of their home crowd, thus revenge would also be on their minds.
Here is the likely RPS XI against DD for tonight's encounter:
1. Ajinkya Rahane
2. Rahul Tripathi
3. Steve Smith (C)
4. MS Dhoni (wk)
5. Ben Stokes
6. Manoj Tiwary
7. Dan Christian
8. Shardul Thakur
9. Adam Zampa
10. Washington Sundar
11. Jaydev Unadkat
Steve Smith (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Ashok Dinda, Faf du Plessis, Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Sharma, Baba Aparajith, Ankush Bains, Rajat Bhatia, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, Dan Christian, Lockie Ferguson, Imran Tahir, Jaskaran Singh, Usman Khawaja, Saurabh Kumar, Ben Stokes, Washington Sundar, Milind Tandon, Manoj Tiwary, Adam Zampa, Jaydev Unadkat, Ishwar Pandey, Rahul Tripathi, Shardul Thakur.