Still no Tamim?
When Pune Warriors play, you can be sure much of the feedback ESPNcricinfo receives is to do with Tamim Iqbal. Warriors have now played 15 games in the tournament, used six openers and won only four matches. The batting has not clicked and they have failed to chase down very gettable targets on occasion.
Mohnish Mishra, Michael Clarke, Sourav Ganguly, Robin Uthappa, Jesse Ryder and Manish Pandey have been Warriors' openers, in various combinations, till now. While Ganguly and Clarke have, expectedly, struggled to score at pace, Jesse Ryder has backed up two half-centuries with seven single-digit scores. Robin Uthappa has been the team’s leading run-scorer, but even his runs have come at a rather lethargic strike-rate of 118.50.
Yet the big-hitting Tamim, who produced scores of 64, 70, 59 and 60 in the last international tournament he played, the Asia Cup, has not got a game. Not even one that is of no consequence to his team.
A Bangladesh boy, Tamim has the benefit of being familiar with the conditions, and could even fit into any plan – if any – the team has to play a right hand-left hand combination at the top of the order. All that, plus a struggling team, surely means it’s worth giving Tamim a go? Maybe Warriors' last league game, against Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday, will be the day.
Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo