Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma wants youngsters to grab chances with key players being ruled out of the competition. Pictured: Ishant Sharma of Rising Pune Supergiants in action during an IPL match between Rising Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on April 14, 2016.IANS

The Rising Pune Supergiants are struggling in IPL 2016, winning just two matches in the competition so far. Their chances of reaching the playoff stage does not look great, but speedster Ishant Sharma feels they can reach top four if the RPS players give their 200 per cent on the field.

Prior to the tournament, they seemed to be a strong team in the competition, and even got off to a blistering start, defeating the defending champions Mumbai Indians in IPL 2016 opener. Since then, they have lost six matches and only won one, which is a dismal record.

The IPL debutants have six games in their hand, and if they win all these matches, their chances might increase for a playoff spot. For that to happen, they need to get their act going from today itself as RPS are set to face Delhi Daredevils at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi.

"We still have six games left in the tournament and if we manage to win each one of them, then we still have a chance to qualify for the playoffs.We will have to give 200 per cent on the field to do well now. If we don't think about the result and play our best cricket then we can do well," The Statesman quoted Sharma as saying.

Easier said than done, winning six games on a trot is going to be mighty tough in the ever so competitive field in IPL. To make things worse, they have to do it without the services of key overseas players, Kevin Pietersen, Faf du Plessis, Mitchell Marsh and Steve Smith, who have all been ruled out of the competition with injuries, making the RPS team weak. George Bailey and Usman Khawaja have been roped in as replacements. 

With such quality players out of the team, other stars like Ajinkya Rahane and MS Dhoni need to shoulder responsibility, and help their team make a comeback. Sharma does not want to crib about the players they have lost, and wants youngsters to grab this opportunity.

"When you play professional sport, you get injured at some point or the other. But, you have to move on rather than crib about it. It hurts when four of your top players get injured but you can't do anything about it.In a way it's an opportunity for youngsters to perform well. Rather than focusing on negative aspects we are positive about it," he said.