New Delhi: In the 49th match of the Indian Premier League's ninth edition, Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Rising Pune Supergiants host Delhi Daredevils today at ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam.
After starting the season on a high note, Delhi's performance has tapered off in the last few matches.
Zaheer Khan-led DD have lost three out of their last five games. It's not a good sign for Delhi, as the fight for the playoffs is becoming more intense with each passing game.
On the other end, Pune, who are already out of the playoffs race, have nothing to lose. But they can still spoil DD's hopes of finishing in the top four.
Here are the players who are expected to make an impact in today's encounter.
Zaheer Khan: Zaheer has emerged as an inspirational skipper for DD this season. And as the tournament is heading towards it's business end, Zak has to use all his international experience to make sure that his comparatively young team plays spirited cricket to seal a spot in top four. The left-arm seamer's role with the new ball is also crucial for the team.
Quinton de Kock: The South African has been in fine form with the willow. The opener has amassed 381 runs in ten innings thus far, with the help of two fifties and an unbeaten ton. In today's encounter, DD will expect their in-form batsman to give them a solid start up front.
Ajinkya Rahane: He is among very few batsmen in world cricket, who play proper cricketing shots even in the shortest format of the game. Despite a poor show by his new franchise, Rahane has been consistent with the willow this season. The right-hander is also placed sixth among the leading run-scorers.
MS Dhoni: Until last season, Dhoni had this habit of seeing his team in the top four. But shockingly, this time his new franchise has become the first team to crash out of the playoff race. Dhoni failed to inspire his team, which is languishing at the bottom after losing nine games out of the 12 played. In their last two remaining games, Dhoni would like to win both to finish the tournament on a positive note. But for that he has to lead his side from the front, something which has been missing so far.