Pune Warriors v Mumbai Indians, IPL 2012, Pune May 2, 2012

Pune's time to take forward steps


Match facts

Thursday, May 3, Pune
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big Picture

Pune Warriors started their campaign in IPL 2012 with an uplifting win against pre-tournament favourites, Mumbai Indians and followed it up with an easy win over Kings XI Punjab. But since then, they have played seven games and won only two, with a hat-trick of losses. Second from the bottom, Warriors still have a chance of qualifying for the play-off stage, but with just six games to go they will need to stay focussed.

Mumbai Indians have had five wins from nine games even though they haven't performed to their potential. Of all their big names, only Lasith Malinga has been consistent while Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh haven't fired. Rohit Sharma is the top-scorer in the line-up but his tournament tally is half that of Ajinkya Rahane's and he has given his wicket away easily in crunch situations. Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik, though, have shown signs of form after an indifferent start to the season. Mumbai Indians have often reiterated the importance of having Tendulkar at the top to provide stability. However, he has scored 94 runs in five games and Sourav Ganguly would hope to keep the pressure on him.

Michael Clarke made an impressive IPL debut in the last game and scored his runs at a good clip with proper cricketing shots, much like Rahane. Clarke's ability should relieve Robin Uthappa of the stabilising role, allowing him to take a more aggressive stance. In their bowling department, Warriors have missed Ashok Dinda as Ashish Nehra has been expensive as a death bowler.

Form guide

(most recent first)

Pune Warriors: LLLWL
Mumbai Indians: WLWLL

Players to watch

Steven Smith is the second highest run-getter for Warriors this season with 267 runs at a strike rate of 159.88. While several other top run-scorers have faced more than 200 balls, Smith has only faced 167, highlighting that he could have a greater impact if he is given more time in the middle.

Ambati Rayudu has looked in good form in recent games. While his cameo in Mohali won the game for Mumbai Indians from a difficult position, his counter-attacking 62 in Delhi kept the team in hunt after the loss of early wickets. With an inconsistent top order, the responsibility will be again on him.

Stats and trivia

  • Mumbai Indians' average of 21.58 runs per wicket is the lowest in this IPL. Warriors are third from the top with an average of 27.05.
  • Mumbai Indians scored 101 against Warriors in their last match, the second-lowest score this season after their 92 all out against Delhi Daredevils.


    "One always plans to succeed but the success rate may not always be nine on 10. IPL comes with certain pressure, but we've played well overall and haven't been dominated by any team."
    Robin Uthappa on Warriors' recent losses

    "I am very thankful to MI, especially Robin Singh (MI coach) and Sachin sir, for giving me this opportunity. MI gave me a chance when I needed one."
    Ambati Rayudu

    Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Muhammad Iqbal on May 5, 2012, 16:36 GMT

    I think it will be a great fun to see if the PWI can win this match...

  • shameem on May 3, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    To all cricket pundits posting there comments --- PWI now dead for poor selection of the team!!!! Big names Clarke, Ryder........ have failed. Small names like Tamim, Luke Wright didn't get a game again! So result has been the same ---- a shameful defeat chasing only 121!!! Go Pune go --- go down to the bottom of the table!!!!!!!!!

  • P on May 3, 2012, 15:05 GMT

    Nehra gets hit for a 6 and a 4; he smiles. he doesn't make a real effort to catch a lobbed up ball from Sachin; he again smiles!! What is this guy thinking?

  • P on May 3, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    Pune will benefit if Ganguly opens, plays about 15 balls to get 20 runs and gets out. Longer he stays beyond first 6 overs, he will slow down scoring rate and might even get a few team-mates in run-out scare. Hope PWI sees the writing on the wall everybody else is seeing and request SG to retire, gracefully.

  • surya on May 3, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    Pollard's injury makes the middle order stronger for Mumbai, Baaji's tactical move of not playing Levi may weaken the opening strike rate for 6 overs. opening with franklin will see a 50 over match in IPL. Pune fans will feel that Marlon samuels could got injured. If malinga couldnt get his line in first over dont use him in the 3rd over take him for finishing overs to control smith. Good to start with a peterson or baaji.

  • Dummy4 on May 3, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    Luke Wright is a bright exciting prospect. Give him a chance to open with Clarke at the top of the order in place of Ryder. Was ecstatic when he was picked bu u ppll,, but whats the point if hes not being given enough games?? Love u DADA, u rock !!

  • Dummy4 on May 3, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    Tamim Iqbal Should be given a chance.

  • Ranga on May 3, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    I'm not trying to be a cricket pundit here but IMO I feel it's not an issue with the team selection but a problem with the line up for PWI...They have a cracker of a squad but since they don't utilize the players well enough they fail big time.There is no other place for Ganguly than the opening spot. Either that or he should nvr bat or he should opt out of the team. But since he is a good captain and probably this could be his last playing season he'll play. Have Ganguly, Pandey, Clarke, Smith, Matthews, Manhas, Uththappa, Kumar, Parnell, Sharma, Nehra. It's unfortunate that Luke Wright is unfit otherwise it would be a choice between him and Matthews. With that line up Openeres should try and achieve a RR or 9-10 as even if they lose a wicket in the process they've Clarke a solid player and it allows Smith and Matthews enough time on the crease so that they could launch big time to the latter part..It's all about preparing roles...And PWI is not doing it right...

  • Tamil on May 3, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    Warriors team for tonight:- 1. Pandey 2. Ryder (O) 3. Smith (O) 4. Clarke (O) - Captain 5. Uthappa-W* 6. Manhas 7. Ganguly 8. Thomas (O) 9. Karthik 10. Sharma 11. Dinda

  • Dummy4 on May 3, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    DADA Give Rest To Samuels n Bring Luke Wright In For Him ...Luke Wright,Clarke,Smith,Wayne Parnell ( If Dinda Is Not Fit )

    Take KAMRAN KHAN (Bowler) In Place Of Ashish nehra Dada

    DADA GIRI Rocks \m/

    Love U DADA

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