Mumbai Indians v Pune Warriors India, IPL 2012, Mumbai April 5, 2012

Can Ganguly inspire new dawn for Warriors?

Match facts

April 6, 2012, Mumbai
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)

Big picture

When the nine captains of the IPL's fifth edition were ushered in during the opening ceremony in Chennai, Sourav Ganguly, Pune Warriors India captain, walked out wearing the franchise's new turquoise blue jersey, a change from last year's black. The team would want to erase memories of a forgettable debut season. A change of colour could bring a change of luck, as it happened to Deccan Chargers during the second season. Till recently, Warriors' participation in the IPL wasn't even certain. Their owners, the Sahara Group, pulled out on the day of the auction, and their players were in limbo, uncertain of their own future. A compromise was worked out and normal service resumed.

Ganguly takes over a team beset with injuries, and the absence of their star pick Yuvraj Singh, who's recovering from cancer. Their batting last year revolved too much around Yuvraj and Robin Uthappa. They initially won't have the services of two important overseas recruits, Michael Clarke and Angelo Mathews, who are playing Tests for their countries. They start the tournament again as underdogs.

Warriors are up against their neighbours, and tournament contenders Mumbai Indians. Even the defending champions Chennai Super Kings were no match in the IPL opener, which Mumbai Indians dominated with an all-round effort. The one concern for Mumbai Indians is the availability of Sachin Tendulkar, who had to retire hurt with a finger injury in the opening game. His captain, Harbhajan Singh, was hopeful that Tendulkar would play tomorrow.

Predict the playing XIs for this match. Play ESPNcricinfo Team Selector.

Players to watch

As Warriors ponder their overseas combination, they will find it hard to overlook Tamim Iqbal. The stylish Bangladesh opening batsman had a dream Asia Cup. He was controversially omitted at the start of the tournament but snubbed his detractors with four fifties, including 60 in the final. The pleasure of his off-side strokes, the poise and follow-through would make his captain proud.

Pragyan Ojha had a memorable debut game for Mumbai Indians on Wednesdsay, taking the important wickets of Dwayne Bravo and Suresh Raina. He kept the runs down as well, proving why he's an effective Twenty20 bowler.

2011 head-to-head

Mumbai Indians were the winners in both matches last year. The first meeting was a low-scoring one, at Wankhede Stadium. A combined bowling effort restricted Warriors to 118. Mumbai Indians won by seven wickets, but used up all their 20 overs. In the return match at the Warriors "home" ground in Navi Mumbai, Mumbai Indians set a target of 161, but Warriors fell short by 21 runs despite a fifty by Manish Pandey.

Stats and trivia

  • Mumbai Indians were one of two teams (the other being Super Kings) to win both their matches last year against Warriors

  • Warriors had the lowest economy rate (7.23) among all teams in IPL 2011 but also had the second-lowest run-rate (7.24).


    "He is a terrific player. His strength is that he can hit the ball hard and score quickly and that is why we picked him."
    Mumbai Indians captain Harbhajan Singh on Richard Levi

    Edited by Abhishek Purohit

    Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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