Hopeful Royals meet dangerous drifters
Match factsSunday, May 5, 2013
Start time 2000 (1630 GMT)
Big PictureBeware the team with nothing to lose, even if their own player is ripping into the team management for having made changes to the winning combination. Pune Warriors are out of the race for playoffs. They have been easier to beat than others, but you can bet teams will be approaching a match with them with slight trepidation too. For a team like Rajasthan Royals, who are in with a chance to make it to the playoffs, and who have provided Warriors' one of their rare wins this season, this becomes a crucial game. They need to win three out of their remaining six to reach nine wins, which all but assure their progression.
This is one of Royals' last three home games, and they haven't lost one in Jaipur this year yet. They will be wary of individual brilliance, which the visiting side is well capable of, despite the results' stating otherwise. Yuvraj Singh will be miffed at having been left out of the India team for the Champions Trophy, and might have a point to prove. Nobody wants to be at the receiving end of his ire.
Rajasthan Royals LWWLL
Pune Warriors LLLLLL
Watch out for...Like Yuvraj, Ajinkya Rahane must be smarting too. That he hasn't got many chances playing for India is well documented, but now even the bench has been pulled from under him. He is not part of the India squad for the Champions Trophy, and his bat might have a thing or two to say about it.
Angelo Mathews' first taste of captaincy in a big tournament hasn't been great. He has presided over losses, he has been dropped, and he has taken just one wicket and scored 84 runs, but before he leaves to lead Sri Lanka in the Champions Trophy, he will hope to bring about a turnaround.
Stats and trivia
- Robin Uthappa, Pune Warriors' wicketkeeper, has only five dismissals to his name in 11 matches. It gives you an impression of how penetrative their bowling has been.
- The three worst bowling analysis for an innings this year belong to Warriors bowlers. Ashok Dinda features twice, and Mitchell Marsh once, when he bowled just three overs for 56. His captain saved him the record for worst analysis by not bowling him out.
Quotes"We've never stuck to a winning combination. It was pretty disappointing for me, as a player. When we beat a strong team at their home ground [Chennai Super Kings], we came back and changed the combination, and I think that kind of shook things up for us a little bit."
Pune Warriors' wicketkeeper-batsman Robin Uthappa
"There is something about Sanju Samson that is reminiscent of the young Sachin Tendulkar. Fabulously talented, wide-eyed, honest, #thefuture"
Former Glamorgan left-arm quick, and now a commentator, Alan Wilkins, on Twitter
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo