Delhi Daredevils lost their opening match of IPL 2017 against Royal Challengers Bangalore from a winning position, and they have themselves to blame. Despite the heroics of Rishabh Pant, who scored 36-ball 57, DD could not cross the finishing line. They need to come with a better performance when they face Rising Pune Supergiant in their encounter on Tuesday.
DD have to make some wise changes in their batting line-up. Pant certainly needs to bat higher up the order, maybe open the innings as he can use the field restrictions to his advantage.
Pant walked into bat at number five against RCB, and the DD thinktank might have decided not to tinker about with his position as he has batted for Delhi in the middle order as well. But then, this is a different matter altogether in the IPL, where Pant, who loves to take on bowlers, could prove to be a perfect foil for Sam Billings, and the duo can form a dangerous opening pair in IPL 2017.
In fact, DD should not think about the middle order too much as they have Sanju Samson, Chris Morris and Carlos Brathwaite to handle the middle overs.
Had Quniton De Kock not suffered a finger injury ahead of IPL 2017, Delhi Daredevils could have asked Pant to bat at number five, but with the South African injured, they need a like-for-like replacement.
Pant may not be in the bracket of Kock, who was brilliant last season, but the Indian player does not mind taking on bowlers. He can provide a flying start, which is what DD need at the start of the innings. Pant can play an important role in providing a solid platform for Morris and Brathwaite to use their power in finishing the innings on a high for the Delhi Daredevils.
Pant, at the top of the order for DD, could prove to be the difference between a win and loss against Rising Pune Supergiant in IPL 2017.