IPL 2012 review - Pune Warriors May 19, 2012

Defeat, despair and dada

ESPNcricinfo reviews the performance of Pune Warriors in IPL 2012

Where they finished

Brought up the rear, like previous season, with just four wins from 16 games, and an IPL record of nine consecutive defeats.

Key player

Electric in the field and explosive with the bat, Steven Smith played a key role in each of Warriors' four wins. His crisp but calm hitting turned tight chases into manageable ones and boosted average totals to match-winning ones. Acrobatic stops in the deep and spectacular attempts at catches were the norm when the ball sped towards Smith. A decent leg spinner, he bowled just two balls in the tournament, but despite that, created enough impact.

Bargain buy

Smith had gone unsold in the 2012 auction (base price $200,000) despite leading Sydney Sixers to the Big Bash League title a week before the auction. He had missed IPL 2011 with an ankle injury after being bought for $200,000 by Kochi Tuskers Kerala.

Flop buy

At $950,000 and $850,000, Angelo Mathews and Ashish Nehra were costly acquisitions in the 2011 auction for Warriors. Mathews has a growing reputation as a finisher for Sri Lanka but he wasn't able to play even one decisive knock down the order for Warriors. He did end up with a much better economy-rate, 7.38, though, than Ashish Nehra's, 8.37. Nehra had a few productive outings but on five occasions, he conceded more than ten runs an over. His meltdown in the final over against AB de Villiers heralded Warriors' downfall after they had begun with three wins in four matches.


The surprise win over table-toppers Delhi Daredevils. Daredevils had started the season with four wins in five games before they ran into Warriors and Ganguly. Jesse Ryder, Ganguly and Smith carried Warriors to 192, their highest total ever. Ganguly then bowled Kevin Pietersen to break Daredevils' momentum in the chase. Warriors did not give it away in the final over either, with Alfonso Thomas conceding five when 26 were needed.


The win over Daredevils was about as good as it got for Warriors. It is difficult to pick one low moment in a season which descended into nine consecutive losses. Conceding a hat-trick to little-known Ajit Chandila, the Rajasthan Royals offspinner, comes to mind, as do the twin losses to fellow strugglers Deccan Chargers.


Sourav Ganguly or Yuvraj Singh, Warriors have only four wins to show for each season. Both campaigns began positively; 2012 slipped deeper than 2011, and never recovered. While Chargers copped the majority of criticism for their poor showing, they at least got into winning positions in several games only to lose, mostly, through elementary lapses in the field. Even when they did not lose heavily, though, Warriors hardly reached dominating positions, and were largely dull and uninspiring. It was a common feature of their performances previous season as well. It is difficult to blame captains in as volatile a format as Twenty20, but sequences of nine and seven straight defeats in 2012 and 2011 are damning. Yuvraj at least made lots of runs, and quickly. An average of 17.86 at a strike-rate of 98.89 with all but three innings at No. 3 or above show that Ganguly the batsman made it even harder for Ganguly the captain.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 22, 2012, 8:54 GMT

    Why do Ganguly fans find it so hard to accept the reality ? Their constant denial is very similar to what Ganguly himself does, it would do a world of good if he accepts his shortcomings and works to improve them if he wants to continue playing. For almost a decade now, he has always been a non-performing captain. That does not speak good about the wonderfully stylish left-hander, who with his knack to pierce even the most taut offside fields formed one of the best opening pairs of all time in company of Sachin.

  • Dummy4 on May 21, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    now ganguly should make a bread restuarent.....always wearing a helmet to hide face.

  • Dummy4 on May 21, 2012, 15:15 GMT

    Dada as batsman wasn't bad. But the team didn't click. With wickets falling around him, Dada couldn't really express himself. When Dada could hold up one end to guide the team to a good total, there was no need to have similar players like Clarke, Ferguson, Ryder. What the team needed were players like Tamim, Steven Smith up the order.

  • Dummy4 on May 21, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    Tha day when PWI was playing KKR, when Clarke was facing Sakib, a friend of mine exclaimed that "Clarke would now seek revenge after being smashed around by Sakib." It was a LOL moment. I replied "the best revenge Clarke can have is taking a single coming down the wicket :p This man is not capable of anything more than that." Seriously, Clarke is a very good test batsman, good enough batsman to bat ONLY in the middle overs in ODIs with his 1st & 2nd gears, but a total liability in T20.

  • CSKFAN on May 21, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    Poor team selection continues... Its quite surprise that PWI didnt play tamim & N.mccullam atleast in the last match.. Considering next season..they should have tested their other foreign players...

  • CSKFAN on May 21, 2012, 9:13 GMT

    Even pune managemant knows what ganguly can do @ his age now.. Then why they made him captain?...they might retain him as a coach! May be the reason is that they want the expereince & captaincy of ganguly,which he did well... Its obvious that u cant except much from him ,then blame it on the management! not Ganguly...

  • nik on May 21, 2012, 6:22 GMT

    Dada has always played to prove a point. This time he proved that old, retired, nonathletic, self centered heroes should learn when to call quits. Or else, they tend to lose the esteem 100 billion people hold for them really fast. Dada, please retire from all forms of cricket and choose a career to be a leadership management guru.

  • Sudipta on May 21, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    The cause of the worst show of PWI is the captancy of Ganguly, their foolish team management and Subrata Roy(BHETO and Ganguly mad bengali) and for picking Sourav Ganguly after refused by all teams.

  • Dummy4 on May 21, 2012, 1:18 GMT

    It just belies belief that the players of Tamim and Nathan McCullum's caliber did not even get a chance in any one of the 16 matches over a period of 2 months! This absolutely makes no sense, especially in Tamim's case, where he arrived for IPL in red-hot form. I think he is one of most destructive batsmen in the sub-continental conditions and would have helped his team's cause a lot, especially because of his extreme liking to the below-average Indian bowling (and no I am not a BD fan - I am an Indian fan). I am not sure whether it's the team captain's folly or a collective decision by all the wise men in PWI think tank, but it did sure produce disastrous results for the team. As for DADA the batsmen, the lesser said the better. Though the records don't tell the whole story all the time, but in this case, the records do cry out the facts about DADA the batsman. Other supposedly big guns (big-ticket bowlers and batsmen both) also failed for PWI, but DADA's batting was simply appalling

  • Mohsin on May 20, 2012, 22:30 GMT

    Sportscentre BD, you are right, I agree. Egoistic and self centered Ganguly lost PW matches after matches.

  • No featured comments at the moment.