Improved batting needed for Pune turnaround
Friday, April 29, Bangalore
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)
Time is running out for Pune Warriors. With four losses out of six matches, they have severe catching-up to do in their remaining eight games. And it all has to start with snapping a four-match losing streak they have accumulated. In their last three matches they have been 17 for 4, 40 for 4 and 41 for 4. The batting order is surely not ideal: Yuvraj Singh at No. 5 always runs the risk of being wasted, Mithun Manhas and Mohnish Mishra in the top four make it one non-international batsman too many, and Callum Ferguson definitely should not be on the bench considering their batting failures.
Royal Challengers Bangalore, on the other hand, have started a turnaround of sorts with Chris Gayle's arrival. They have seven points after seven matches; 14 after 14 can get them through to the qualifiers. However, they will want more than that, and will be aiming at four wins at least in the remaining games.
Form guide (most recent first)
Bangalore WWNLL (fourth in points table)
Pune LLLLW (ninth in points table)
Pune will need to find a way to get Ferguson in. Given that they have five specialist bowlers doing a good job for them, they can easily bring him in ahead of Mitchell Marsh, who replaced Nathan McCullum for Pune's last game.
Bangalore will want to persist with their winning combination.
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In the spotlight
Jesse Ryder has got off to good starts, but has also fallen to the short ball on more than one occasion. Expect more of that from Zaheer Khan & Co.
Tillakaratne Dilshan scored a golden duck in the previous game, and will look to pull his weight in what is, on paper, one of the most destructive opening combinations in the IPL.
- Virat Kohli, with 227 runs to his name, is 43 short of claiming the orange cap
- Rahul Sharma's 6.04 an over is the fourth-best economy-rate among bowlers who have bowled a minimum of 10 overs. Daniel Vettori, Yusuf Pathan and Doug Bollinger are ahead of him
"We didn't apply our brains while batting. We kept on making the same mistakes again and again."
Yuvraj Singh wants his team to learn their lessons
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo