Royal Challengers Bangalore v Pune Warriors, IPL 2013, Bangalore April 22, 2013

Who will captain Pune Warriors?


Match facts

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)

Big Picture

Five of the nine franchises are captained by foreign players, leading to the debate about whether foreign captains are a liability when they don't perform well. Seven games into this tournament, Pune Warriors have already had three captains - Angelo Mathews, Ross Taylor and Aaron Finch (all foreigners). One was an enforced change, with Mathews forced to sit out a game in Chennai, leaving Taylor to lead. However, Mathews' poor form (5 matches, 52 runs, 1 wicket) has upset the team's plans and hence he was left out of Warriors' last game against Kings XI Punjab, handing the captaincy to the inexperienced Aaron Finch.

The leadership crisis hasn't helped Warriors as they stay at No.8 in the points table, above Delhi Daredevils. If Warriors decide to go with an Indian captain, the only logical option is Yuvraj Singh, who returned after missing two games to injury. Ross Taylor didn't feature against Kings XI, in order to accommodate Luke Wright. The questions remain - if not Mathews, who will walk out for the toss in Bangalore? Will they settle on an Indian captain once and for all?

They've been dogged by inconsistency all season. In Mohali, they had the upper hand at the start of the final over with 15 to defend, but Wright's horrid over handed the game to Kings XI. Warriors had positives to draw from the defeat, but against Royal Challengers Bangalore, their bowlers will have to step up.

Royal Challengers are the team with the best home record this season, having not conceded a single game at Chinnaswamy. Their match against Warriors will be their last at home before they embark on a six-matches tour. Their next home fixture is on May 14. Against Rajasthan Royals, their seamers did well to keep the total to an underwhelming 117. The chase was measured, with Chris Gayle scoring a patient 49. It may not have been the most entertaining chase, but Royal Challengers were determined to keep wickets in hand and not choke.

Form guide

(most recent first)

Pune Warriors LLWLW
Royal Challengers Bangalore WWLWW

Players to watch

Saurabh Tiwary was a regular in the Royal Challengers' line-up in 2012 but was missing at the start of this season due to injury. In his first game, against Royals, he scored an unbeaten 25 to steer the side home with Gayle. Gayle was unusually cautious towards the end, but Tiwary's flurry of boundaries hastened Royal Challengers' march. Tiwary could command a regular place going forward. When these teams met at Chinnaswamy last year, Warriors needed to defend 21 off the last over and yet managed to botch it, with Tiwary hitting the final ball for six with three needed.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is Warriors' leading wicket-taker with eight wickets at an economy rate of 6.29, only behind Rahul Sharma (6.03). Against Kings XI, he was the best of the lot, with figures of 4-0-31-1. With Ashok Dinda proving expensive, the burden on Bhuvneshwar to contain the opposition batsmen has only increased. His inswing to the right-handers has been a revelation.

Stats and trivia

  • Aaron Finch has three fifties so far which, along with Michael Hussey, is the most by any foreigner.
  • Virat Kohli needs 39 more for 2000 IPL runs.


"All the four fast bowlers are doing well and Zaheer Khan is still not playing. When he comes back, it will be a plus."
Royal Challengers fast bowler and Purple Cap holder Vinay Kumar

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Winsome on April 23, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    Yuvi can't captain, he seems to just hate the job and gets down on everyone and himself. It's a shame as they really need a local skipper badly, the internationals are not reliable enough.

  • dummy4fb on April 23, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    Uthappa, Finch, Smith , Yuvi, Wright , Raiphi Vincent ,Abhishek nair,Wayne parnel , Bhuvaneshwar, Iswar panday,Rahul,

  • tejuravi on April 23, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    my pwi team is luke,finch,yuvaraj,mathews, suman,kane,uthappa,dinda,kumar,parveez,nayar.

    this is the winning combination team

  • Sulaimaan91 on April 23, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    everybody was just focusing on Mathews with the bat, what no one noticed was Mathews' contribution with the ball and on the field.Pune lack a good 5th bowler without Mathews, give him a permanent spot in the team and hope he comes good as batsman because none of his replacements are going to be good enough with the ball which is very important.

  • atul2884 on April 23, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    leave out DINDA DANDA and give chance to Ishwar Pandey

  • dummy4fb on April 23, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    I am a from Pune and I dont believe in the PWI team and team management as its has no single local player playing 11. so no doubt i dont care who are playing and who are not and even dont bother about loss and win of PWI team. SAHARA should understand that at least 1/2 player should be from local vicinity.

  • dummy4fb on April 23, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Pune should first get there local options correct. 3 good fast bowlers is a must and Dinda has lost a few matches for them with his bowling... no other option locally to replace him ?

  • dummy4fb on April 23, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    If Pune goes in with Yuvi as captain and the 4 foreign players being Steve Smith, Luke Wright, Aaron Finch and Wayne Parnell or Tamim Iqbal . The remaining players can be Raiphie Gomez or Parvez rasool in place of Dinda , Bhuvnesh Kumar, Abhishek nayar, T Suman, Rahul Sharma and robin Uthappa, there is a chance of winning . But they need to have a resolve of bowling wicket to wicket with the line and length maintained consistently and field like real champions .

  • dakshinap on April 23, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    Dindaa is a match winner for opposit team. He have been consitantly conceding more runs. If today he will play, his figures is 4-60-0

  • dummy4fb on April 23, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    PWI have settled out their batting order but their need some good tactics. In previous match, they were going for the kill and take wickets instead of containing the run flow. The tactics need a bit of change.

    PWI should retain Finch, Steve Smith & Luke Wright. The fourth slot should be filled by Ross Taylor. He has scored lot of runs on this ground when he played for RCB in first few seasons.

    For captaincy, Finch could be again or even Robin Uthappa could be tried.