Pune Warriors v Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2012, Pune May 7, 2012

Rajasthan's chance to improve prospects

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Match facts

Tuesday, May 8
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)

Big Picture

After the hype surrounding Sourav Ganguly playing an away game at Eden Gardens has died down, Pune Warriors have a disappointing season, not unlike the previous one, to reflect on. The season began with much promise, with three wins in the first four games. The next eight have brought seven losses; there was a run of seven consecutive losses last year as well. The defeat to Kolkata Knight Riders was typical of Warriors' performance; they fought hard, they came back twice, once with the ball and once with the bat, but ultimately, could not get over the finish line. Their play-off chances are almost over now.

Rajasthan Royals gave their chances of making the top four a boost with a big win over Kings XI Punjab, which broke a run of four consecutive losses. In their five remaining games, they face Warriors twice and bottom-placed Deccan Chargers once. They wouldn't want to slip on Tuesday, considering their other two matches are against Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians.

Form guide

(completed games, most recent first)

Pune Warriors: LLLLL
Rajasthan Royals: WLLLL

2011 head-to-head

These sides played each other just once last season, with Royals winning by six wickets in Jaipur

Players to watch

It took only two outings for Shane Watson to turn in a match-winning performance, against Kings XI. Thirty-six runs at a strike-rate of 211.76 and two wickets at an economy-rate of 5.50. His class is the boost a flagging Royals campaign needed.

With the focus on Ganguly in Kolkata, Angelo Mathews turned the game briefly with three consecutive sixes off Yusuf Pathan. Had it not been for Sunil Narine's spell of two overs for eight runs towards the end, Mathews may well have won the game for Warriors. He's revived many stuttering chases for Sri Lanka.

Stats and trivia

(All stats prior to the start of Monday's game)
  • Surprisingly, Warriors have scored the most runs this season, 1721
  • This is already Rahul Dravid's most prolific IPL season, with 379 runs, bettering his return of 371 in 2008.
  • Steven Smith has taken the most catches this season - eight - along with Rohit Sharma.

    Quotes

    "We have shown in this competition that we are a team to be taken seriously even though not many people would have given us a chance at the start."
    Rahul Dravid

    Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Fazle_Rabbee on May 8, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    Hi This is Soyeb From Bangladesh. I am tired of seeing the arguement for and against Tamim and Shakib. I am asking those who are against Tamim, Have Clarke or Ryder done any outstanding performance for Pune? I do remember the only innings that was played by Rider in one of the mathces he played, Thats all. The game is on today and see what Clarke has done for Pune!!!He is a world class batsmen no doubt, but T20 needs performance. I think Tamim should be given a chance next match and hopefully he will show his class. And for Shakib al Hasan, I need to say sorry for him because I have seen no hope for him to play in rest of the matches in IPL. So he should wait for the matches for Essex (If all things go with him). And to all Indian brothers who are BD Haters, Remember We all hali for Sachin Tendulkar or Ganguly or Kohli or Dravid, your great ones, when he plays. If We can show repect to your players, Why you can not show respect our great pleayer such as Shakib or Tamim.

  • on May 8, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    Well seeing the comments, I checked the squad of Pune................To my shocked I saw many players in their list who been good for many IPL and national teams are sitting on bench......Well soarav u r the same guy who was always there with new performing talent....I find KAMRAN KHAN, ALI MURTAZA, TAMIM IQBAL, Graeme Smith, Alfonso Thomas all sitting.......Dont they deserve a single game....THINK

  • on May 8, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    @Farhan Ansari - your right numbers dont always tell the whole story. Players like Dravid & Clarke are leagues ahead of Tamim in experience and class. They might not have great T20 records but there capable of turning a match in any format. Im not trying to bag Tamim, hes still young and BD have a ways to go before there considered "top tier". Its just that Tamim unproven. We have seen him do great things but never very consistently and 1 good tournament doesn't make you consistent either. Potential is all well and good but its not worth much in a highly competitive environment like the IPL. All possible reasons he hasnt been picked so far. However now that PWI are pretty much out of contention theres no harm in giving him a shot imo.

  • AusieBangaleeShameem on May 8, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    Wish a big PWI loss to RR. From today I've switched my support to become an Anti-PWI cricket team! Still I remain as a Gangulyan!!!

  • on May 8, 2012, 10:17 GMT

    With clicking of S.Watsan ans s taut, RR is surely going to clinch the semifinal birth. They have stablished batting lineup and now effective openning bowling pair in watson and taut. Ashok menaria and Binny has disapointed.

  • Positive_Critic on May 8, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    Aussies and Saffers have been the most productive of players all through out the tournament.. even the national discards of Australia.. like Steven Smith and Cameron White are doing better than most of our stars... Today it's again going to be a match between aussies... Michael Clarke and Steven Smith in Pune vs Watson and Tait in Rajasthan..

  • on May 8, 2012, 9:55 GMT

    even after such a performance. pune still has the highest number of fans.. amazing..

  • HetalK on May 8, 2012, 9:43 GMT

    "Surprisingly, Warriors have scored the most runs this season" and unsurprisingly given away most runs as well.

  • joseyesu on May 8, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    As long as Dada and Clarke in same team, Other franshises has very good chance of beating..(: )

  • on May 8, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    Pune has nothing to loose now. So they should try with changes. Tamim should be included in today's match.

  • Fazle_Rabbee on May 8, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    Hi This is Soyeb From Bangladesh. I am tired of seeing the arguement for and against Tamim and Shakib. I am asking those who are against Tamim, Have Clarke or Ryder done any outstanding performance for Pune? I do remember the only innings that was played by Rider in one of the mathces he played, Thats all. The game is on today and see what Clarke has done for Pune!!!He is a world class batsmen no doubt, but T20 needs performance. I think Tamim should be given a chance next match and hopefully he will show his class. And for Shakib al Hasan, I need to say sorry for him because I have seen no hope for him to play in rest of the matches in IPL. So he should wait for the matches for Essex (If all things go with him). And to all Indian brothers who are BD Haters, Remember We all hali for Sachin Tendulkar or Ganguly or Kohli or Dravid, your great ones, when he plays. If We can show repect to your players, Why you can not show respect our great pleayer such as Shakib or Tamim.

  • on May 8, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    Well seeing the comments, I checked the squad of Pune................To my shocked I saw many players in their list who been good for many IPL and national teams are sitting on bench......Well soarav u r the same guy who was always there with new performing talent....I find KAMRAN KHAN, ALI MURTAZA, TAMIM IQBAL, Graeme Smith, Alfonso Thomas all sitting.......Dont they deserve a single game....THINK

  • on May 8, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    @Farhan Ansari - your right numbers dont always tell the whole story. Players like Dravid & Clarke are leagues ahead of Tamim in experience and class. They might not have great T20 records but there capable of turning a match in any format. Im not trying to bag Tamim, hes still young and BD have a ways to go before there considered "top tier". Its just that Tamim unproven. We have seen him do great things but never very consistently and 1 good tournament doesn't make you consistent either. Potential is all well and good but its not worth much in a highly competitive environment like the IPL. All possible reasons he hasnt been picked so far. However now that PWI are pretty much out of contention theres no harm in giving him a shot imo.

  • AusieBangaleeShameem on May 8, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    Wish a big PWI loss to RR. From today I've switched my support to become an Anti-PWI cricket team! Still I remain as a Gangulyan!!!

  • on May 8, 2012, 10:17 GMT

    With clicking of S.Watsan ans s taut, RR is surely going to clinch the semifinal birth. They have stablished batting lineup and now effective openning bowling pair in watson and taut. Ashok menaria and Binny has disapointed.

  • Positive_Critic on May 8, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    Aussies and Saffers have been the most productive of players all through out the tournament.. even the national discards of Australia.. like Steven Smith and Cameron White are doing better than most of our stars... Today it's again going to be a match between aussies... Michael Clarke and Steven Smith in Pune vs Watson and Tait in Rajasthan..

  • on May 8, 2012, 9:55 GMT

    even after such a performance. pune still has the highest number of fans.. amazing..

  • HetalK on May 8, 2012, 9:43 GMT

    "Surprisingly, Warriors have scored the most runs this season" and unsurprisingly given away most runs as well.

  • joseyesu on May 8, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    As long as Dada and Clarke in same team, Other franshises has very good chance of beating..(: )

  • on May 8, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    Pune has nothing to loose now. So they should try with changes. Tamim should be included in today's match.

  • on May 8, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    Will Tamim Iqbal Play today?

  • baranasai on May 8, 2012, 9:13 GMT

    I think Tamim should be given a chance-he may come out with some good performance .The bowlers also should do a good job .I also want my favourite player dravid to score more runs

  • AkDoN on May 8, 2012, 9:13 GMT

    I am PWI supporter but I really dont understand the team management here..the player selection for PWI is absolutely horrible...I think SAHARA & ganguly are more emotional than practical. They shd play Tamim for Ryder. Also Local talent like Kadiwale, Dhiraj Jadhavmust get a chance to make their appearance they are not mean to supply water only

  • on May 8, 2012, 9:05 GMT

    Tired of reading comments to play Tamim! guys, get a life- there is Luke wright and Samuals sitting on bench, and u expect Tamim to play? No doubt Tamim is a good player but bench has better players than Tamim and Shakib. I understand your support being from Bangladesh but be realistic!

  • Whaaz on May 8, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    @Mizanur Rahman Shohag, Cooper will not be played he is injured even if he is fit, then there is already 4 player in a team 1> Shane Watson, 2> Johan Botha, 3> Brad Hodge 4> Shaun Tait what about owais shah he is in the team ?

  • akbarbirbal007 on May 8, 2012, 8:54 GMT

    Know that its difficult for them to qualify for the play offs they should try out the bench strength local boy harshad khadiwale(opening batsman) must be given a chance in place of manish pandey who was a huge letdown(excluding the 80 which he got) for his side including uthappa(who looks as if he is never going to improve) these are the millionn dollar babies who have not even given one match winning performance

  • Masud_BITK on May 8, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    Pune is surely going to win today. I love to see David is captain but in the same time I wish for Dada to win at least today's match. Sorry to Dravid, one of my most favorite player.

  • akbarbirbal007 on May 8, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    @Mizanur Rahman Shohag kevon cooper is injured and out of the tournament..he has gone back to WI

  • jayaboy on May 8, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    WI can be dangerous at the world t20 world cup,which will be held in this September at Srilanka .look at this line up.Gayle,bravo,smith,samuels,sammy,cooper,andre russel,pollard,nariane,roach,ramdin..extre-bishoo,simmons,edwards

  • nsn26 on May 8, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    ganguly likes to give surprise... rather than winning... :D he will ridiculously take jessy ryder to open... :D :p

  • on May 8, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    will cooper play today ??? cooper is the lucky charm for RR as um hoping for his best performance ... :)

  • on May 8, 2012, 7:36 GMT

    @Alex Hose hey have you forgotten about Tamim Iqbal's performance in Asia Cup as far as Tamim's T20 career is concerned he hasn't played many matches. Just look at Dravid he may not have the best strike rate but look at his performance because the man has class. If you think Tamim is not suited for T20 then what about Michael Clarke he too does not have the best record in T20, at the end of the day numbers do not tell the the story.

  • aamir90 on May 8, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    MY TEAM FOR PUNE: DADA,M PANDEY, UTTHAPA, CLARKE, S SMITH, A MATHEWS, M MANHAS, B KUMAR, M KARTHIK, A THOMAS, DINDA.

  • pai11 on May 8, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas: mate, if your first wish is fulfilled the second one will be automatically fulfilled... if DADA scores big, RR will only be chasing 120-140 max & they will win obviously win:-)

  • Whaaz on May 8, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    Doesn't matter who wins. Pune wins only if Clarke and Smith Scores good Runs + Instead of Ryder, Tamim should be try... RR looks good side Rahane Dravid Watson Shah Hodge tait...

  • secondopinion on May 8, 2012, 6:52 GMT

    I wish both KXIP and PWI do something special. It is no fun if some teams keep losing, their only value being the 2 points their opponents earn each match agains them. Since there is nothing to lose, PWI should try out new players, incl Tamim. RR's top and middle order batting is excellent, and bowling now looks good with Watson. Pune has to play out of their skin to run RR close.

  • on May 8, 2012, 6:02 GMT

    today i m supportin for pune warriors.......bcoz if tey won the match only chennai wl qualify 4 playoff!!!!!!!!!therefore today dada and his team goin to rockzzzzzzzzzzzzz..........

  • mahafuz1983 on May 8, 2012, 5:29 GMT

    @Satish619chandar....totally agree with u mate...although being a bangladeshi want to see Tamim in action...but for an exciting end to the tournament I hope RR and Punjab win today....I don't think Pune has a chance and DC already out of the equation...so the party spoilers don't need to win....RR and Punjab should win for making the remaining matches interesting...however I guess MI, CSK, and RCB fans won't agree with me....but hey I am a KKR fan and I am sitting quite safe :)

  • sunny.patel86 on May 8, 2012, 5:04 GMT

    The team should be something like this. Uthappa Khadiwale Clarke Ganguly Smith Mathews Parnell Murtuza Sharma Kumar Dinda. Out Karthik, Pandey and Nehra. In Khadiwale, Murtuza and Sharma. Make drastic changes like Royal Challenger Bangalore, players not played in tournament yet so other haven't played and seen them... Will take time to learn the player and till then the game will be finished.

  • on May 8, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    PWI and DC are out of fight for Play-Off. It is foolish to expect some thing from them. However they can test some other team's effort for Play-off.

  • Sirah75 on May 8, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    @SurlyCynic, RR is anything but boring . First of all ,you people must know not only playing fours and sixes are the only cricket shots and also it should be played in correct timing . RD is playing these kind of shots in a classic style and correct timing .

  • SUHAGCHOWDHURY on May 8, 2012, 4:05 GMT

    i want dont need to play tamim, now pune dont have chance to go up........ dada will will go now time for dada to take retired from all cricket.........

  • Narbavi on May 8, 2012, 3:28 GMT

    @Brit_freakster: Dada should play next season?? seriously?? ha ha good joke mate, u know what he averages and at what strike rate he got those runs this season, then how could he play next season?? he should replace whom in the 11?? Manish pandey?? or some other good indian talent!! truth is his days are over!!

  • satish619chandar on May 8, 2012, 3:02 GMT

    Good day for IPL.. Both RR and Punjab had been hot and cold and if they want to stay in the mix, both need to win today.. Pune if they lose today, are out of the tournament for sure though they are already almost out of it unless they show a miraculous transformation and extraordinary play.. Last game was their's to win but sadly lost it.. Dada did give chance o guys who were playing well in previous games but everyone played simply atrocious strokes to get out.. BTW, Dada would have understood the impact of failure of top order and how it ruffles the lower order now.. Better for him to be back to top order and deal the things in a better manner.. RR doesn't have much problems to look in actually.. Just need to do it consistently for 40 overs.. I hope RR and Punjab win today and keep their hope flying high for playoffs..

  • on May 8, 2012, 1:38 GMT

    My team for RR: 1.Rahane 2.Dravid 3.Watson 4.Shah 5.Hodge 6.Meneria 7. Binny 8.Yagnik 9.Tait 10.Trivedi 11. Chavan. This is the best team to select in 2012 season for RR....

  • on May 8, 2012, 1:21 GMT

    Ryder is 2nd top runscorer for Pune. Tamim is VERY unproven in T20 just look at his stats. T20I averages 13 at a strike rate of under 100!! Twenty20 not much better averaging 19 at a strike rate of 107. Hes has some good 1 day form lately but that doesnt necessarily translate into t20. Many of the BD players just need a bit more development and time to be considered world class players.

  • on May 7, 2012, 23:44 GMT

    Dada should realize Tamim deserve the chance !!!Dada stupid decision makes pune the last team in IPL5......keep going dada!!

  • on May 7, 2012, 22:31 GMT

    Can any one tell me what sort of pitch we can expect against rajasthan royals 2mrrw coz low n slow wicket wud suit warriors the best. As warriors have 2 classy leg spinners as wells as i reckon smith n clarke can bowl in a bit n slow n low wicket wud test royals batsman as n example ( watto or shah) wil have tough time while playing in slow n low wicket. If the track provide bounce n swing as feroz shah kotla had i reckon shaun tait wil b tough to handle n watto wil b royal's another weapon to kill their opponent's. The team like pune never can afford to provide bouncy track to win. So low n slow wicket mi8 b strategy 2 win the game as opponents dön't have such a classy spinner except hogg n botha is not having good time with ball except last game against kings xii

  • Brit_freakster on May 7, 2012, 20:46 GMT

    Pune was the underdog at the beginning of IPL 2012 and everyone knew that they did not have the star cast like Mumbai or Delhi who were deemed as favorites. Inspite of that Pune has fought well, the only 1 team which has not been dominated by any team and have beaten the big guns of IPL 2012, thanks to Ganguly. Had Yuvraj been the captain, Pune's fate would have followed a similar trajectory as in 2011. Ganguly should continue as captain even in the next 2013 IPL, some grooming of local talent should be done like Kamran Khan, Anusthup Majumdar and the overseas players should be made into more consistent performers. Go Pune Go!!! Smack the Royals!!!

  • rongdhonu on May 7, 2012, 20:43 GMT

    Tamim will play beacuse pune have no option in opening

  • riprock on May 7, 2012, 20:39 GMT

    Dada is a good captain, a great tactician and quite aggressive. But I simply fail to understand the logic behind his absurd decision-making and absolutely ridiculous team selection and batting order? How can any captain..especially of such a weak team afford to drop Rahul Sharma? Bizarre. He has four good Indian bowlers, Nehra, Dinda, Rahul and Kartik. Picking Steve Smith and not giving him a single ball to bowl when he's actually a specialist leg-spinner? And among the foreign players.. He could've backed Ryder, Tamim, Clarke, Mathews and Smith. Rotate the opener's spot between Ryder and Tamim and use Mathews, Smith and Clarke for the fifth bowler's quota. This is their best possible XI-- 1.Ryder/Tamim, 2.Uthappa, 3.Clarke, 4.Dada, 5.Mathews, 6.Manish Pandey/Mohnish Mishra/Mithun Manhas, 7.S.Smith, 8.Rahul Sharma, 9.M.Kartik, 10.Nehra, 11.A.Dinda. I feel I'd probably handle that team better than Dada. Very unfortunate to see such a good captain fall behind expectations.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on May 7, 2012, 20:37 GMT

    @SurlyCynic, RR is anything but boring. It is exciting to see two classic players at the top of the order upping the ante in t20. And then you have the brute power of Watto, Shah and Hodge. An exciting mixture of classic cricket and brute force. All is in your perspective mate. In the last match RR played against Punjab, it's just impossible to explain the feeling watching Dravid drive and flick repeatedly. That was classic. I mean, one can't help but feel sorry for Dravid for sticking to these kind of classic shots in this slam-bam cricket. Oh yes, it is very exciting to watch Dravid and Rahane 'struggling' in the middle with their fantastic, easy on the eye proper cricket shots. The old man from the past is handing over the torch to the young man of the future. It's even more heartening to see Dravid taking the strike so that Rahane can ease himself into the match. That's the way to pass on the torch. RR has everything in it's ranks - Class, Brute Force, History and Future....

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on May 7, 2012, 20:26 GMT

    Based on how Pune and RR are playing right now, it should be a walk in the park for RR unless Dravid comes up with some stupid batting order decisions of backing Menaria to the hilt. I would also bring in Shah for Botha. IF Shah gets going while batting first, then Pune will be looking at nearly 200+ to chase. I keep my fingers crossed. I want Ganguly to score big as his admirer, and I want RR to win as Dravid's fan with valuable contribution from Dravid. Go Ganguly go. Go RR go.....Go Dravid go.....

  • on May 7, 2012, 20:11 GMT

    This team will keep losing until they dont select tamim iqbal , lyk whats wrong with them . Qhy u lookig for more allrounder and more bowler when u need genuine batsman to win the game , really pathetic

  • on May 7, 2012, 19:45 GMT

    Surely Tamim should get games. Also Thomas should play every match. What a pathetic team selection was that. There is Dhiraj Jadhav, Khadiwale who can score run at top. Also when you have regular wicketkeeper, why Robin is keeping & if he still want Robin as wicket-keeper, atleast told me when fielder throwing ball stay behind stumps & not before stumps.

    And playing Nehra?

  • on May 7, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    Go RD. Beat dada's team and grab the 4th spot on table. Halla Bol. @surlycynic ur username sums you up. Royals are by far the most interesting team in the IPL.

  • ansarri on May 7, 2012, 19:17 GMT

    Ganguly has been very stubborn as far as team selection is concerned. Pune have lost five matches in a row primarily because of the failure of the top order batsmen Ryder has been inconsistent and has been in and out of the team. Before the IPL started everyone in cricinfo wanted Tamim to play. It is disappointing that Ganguly has tried out all his overseas players except of TAMIM IQBAL, because of the fact that he is a opening batsmen and he has scored 4 half centuries in as many matches in the Asia Cup he would have been the ideal replacement of the unfit Ryder. I am a Bangladeshi and I desperately want to see Tamim make his IPL debut, but Ganguly's team selection and not giving Tamim the opportunity to play is absolutely absurd and does not make any cricketing sense.

  • SurlyCynic on May 7, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    The two most boring teams in the IPL.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • SurlyCynic on May 7, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    The two most boring teams in the IPL.

  • ansarri on May 7, 2012, 19:17 GMT

    Ganguly has been very stubborn as far as team selection is concerned. Pune have lost five matches in a row primarily because of the failure of the top order batsmen Ryder has been inconsistent and has been in and out of the team. Before the IPL started everyone in cricinfo wanted Tamim to play. It is disappointing that Ganguly has tried out all his overseas players except of TAMIM IQBAL, because of the fact that he is a opening batsmen and he has scored 4 half centuries in as many matches in the Asia Cup he would have been the ideal replacement of the unfit Ryder. I am a Bangladeshi and I desperately want to see Tamim make his IPL debut, but Ganguly's team selection and not giving Tamim the opportunity to play is absolutely absurd and does not make any cricketing sense.

  • on May 7, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    Go RD. Beat dada's team and grab the 4th spot on table. Halla Bol. @surlycynic ur username sums you up. Royals are by far the most interesting team in the IPL.

  • on May 7, 2012, 19:45 GMT

    Surely Tamim should get games. Also Thomas should play every match. What a pathetic team selection was that. There is Dhiraj Jadhav, Khadiwale who can score run at top. Also when you have regular wicketkeeper, why Robin is keeping & if he still want Robin as wicket-keeper, atleast told me when fielder throwing ball stay behind stumps & not before stumps.

    And playing Nehra?

  • on May 7, 2012, 20:11 GMT

    This team will keep losing until they dont select tamim iqbal , lyk whats wrong with them . Qhy u lookig for more allrounder and more bowler when u need genuine batsman to win the game , really pathetic

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on May 7, 2012, 20:26 GMT

    Based on how Pune and RR are playing right now, it should be a walk in the park for RR unless Dravid comes up with some stupid batting order decisions of backing Menaria to the hilt. I would also bring in Shah for Botha. IF Shah gets going while batting first, then Pune will be looking at nearly 200+ to chase. I keep my fingers crossed. I want Ganguly to score big as his admirer, and I want RR to win as Dravid's fan with valuable contribution from Dravid. Go Ganguly go. Go RR go.....Go Dravid go.....

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on May 7, 2012, 20:37 GMT

    @SurlyCynic, RR is anything but boring. It is exciting to see two classic players at the top of the order upping the ante in t20. And then you have the brute power of Watto, Shah and Hodge. An exciting mixture of classic cricket and brute force. All is in your perspective mate. In the last match RR played against Punjab, it's just impossible to explain the feeling watching Dravid drive and flick repeatedly. That was classic. I mean, one can't help but feel sorry for Dravid for sticking to these kind of classic shots in this slam-bam cricket. Oh yes, it is very exciting to watch Dravid and Rahane 'struggling' in the middle with their fantastic, easy on the eye proper cricket shots. The old man from the past is handing over the torch to the young man of the future. It's even more heartening to see Dravid taking the strike so that Rahane can ease himself into the match. That's the way to pass on the torch. RR has everything in it's ranks - Class, Brute Force, History and Future....

  • riprock on May 7, 2012, 20:39 GMT

    Dada is a good captain, a great tactician and quite aggressive. But I simply fail to understand the logic behind his absurd decision-making and absolutely ridiculous team selection and batting order? How can any captain..especially of such a weak team afford to drop Rahul Sharma? Bizarre. He has four good Indian bowlers, Nehra, Dinda, Rahul and Kartik. Picking Steve Smith and not giving him a single ball to bowl when he's actually a specialist leg-spinner? And among the foreign players.. He could've backed Ryder, Tamim, Clarke, Mathews and Smith. Rotate the opener's spot between Ryder and Tamim and use Mathews, Smith and Clarke for the fifth bowler's quota. This is their best possible XI-- 1.Ryder/Tamim, 2.Uthappa, 3.Clarke, 4.Dada, 5.Mathews, 6.Manish Pandey/Mohnish Mishra/Mithun Manhas, 7.S.Smith, 8.Rahul Sharma, 9.M.Kartik, 10.Nehra, 11.A.Dinda. I feel I'd probably handle that team better than Dada. Very unfortunate to see such a good captain fall behind expectations.

  • rongdhonu on May 7, 2012, 20:43 GMT

    Tamim will play beacuse pune have no option in opening

  • Brit_freakster on May 7, 2012, 20:46 GMT

    Pune was the underdog at the beginning of IPL 2012 and everyone knew that they did not have the star cast like Mumbai or Delhi who were deemed as favorites. Inspite of that Pune has fought well, the only 1 team which has not been dominated by any team and have beaten the big guns of IPL 2012, thanks to Ganguly. Had Yuvraj been the captain, Pune's fate would have followed a similar trajectory as in 2011. Ganguly should continue as captain even in the next 2013 IPL, some grooming of local talent should be done like Kamran Khan, Anusthup Majumdar and the overseas players should be made into more consistent performers. Go Pune Go!!! Smack the Royals!!!