|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
The Preview by Devashish Fuloria
May 2, 2012
Match factsThursday, May 3, Pune
Big PicturePune 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 watchSteven 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
Quotes"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."
"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."
Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Devashish Fuloria
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
|Comments have now been closed for this article
Ishant Sharma has often been the butt of jokes, and sometimes deservedly so. Today, however, the joke was on England
They have to see a glass that is half-full, and play the game as if it is just that, a game; and an opportunity
Only 15 times in Test history has a player achieved the double of 300 runs and 20 wickets in a Test series. Going on current form, Bhuvneshwar could well be the 16th
In India's win at Lord's, Ishant Sharma took the best bowling figures by an Indian in the fourth innings of a Test outside Asia. Here are five other best bowling efforts by Indians in the fourth innings of Tests outside Asia
India's wretched run away from home began at Lord's in 2011. A young team full of self-belief may have brought it to an end with their victory at the same venue three years later
What's wrong with their cricket? Well, what isn't?
Alastair Cook did not bat like a leading man but the crowd applauded him for simply not failing
If England are going to win nothing, history suggests it might be worth their while to win nothing with kids
Why not you? Read and learn how!