Fan Following

First-person reports from the stands

Pune Warriors v Chennai Super Kings, IPL, Pune

A day out with Dada

Travelling to Pune to watch Ganguly clash with and defeat Dhoni's side - totally worth it

Sanjay Sardesai

Comments: 8 | Text size: A | A
Steven Smith hammered 44 off 22, Pune Warriors v Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2012, Pune, April 14, 2012
Steve Smith: thunder-stealer © AFP
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Choice of game
Now that the Pune Warriors have their own stadium in Pune, my friend and I decided to drive down from Goa. As you approach the Sahara Subrata Roy Stadium, built next to the Pune-Mumbai expressway, you are greeted by extremely narrow lanes and undulated terrain. The slow bumper-to-bumper traffic is in contrast to the breezy expressway just a few metres away. But the stadium is picturesque. We were fortunate to be seated in the Southern Club Stand, perhaps the best seat in the house, with the Sahara hospitality. However, the experience was marred by an ill-informed cricket crowd.

Team supported
After supporting the Chennai Super Kings in the previous seasons, I shifted my loyalties to the Warriors since Sourav Ganguly was leading the costliest team in the IPL. What made the shift easier was MS Dhoni's audacity to label Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag "slow", on the Australian tour. Also, Pune is closer to Goa (my home) than Priyanka Chopra is to Shah Rukh Khan!

Key performer
Steve Smith was outstanding on the field. His catching was brilliant and his pyrotechnics made Jesse Ryder look like Jonathan Trott in a Test match.

One thing I'd have changed
I would have liked to have watched the match with Kiran More, the former India player and selector, to remind him that Ganguly's retirement was unnecessarily hastened by some people.

Wow moment
Ganguly's cover drive. It was vintage Dada on display.

Shot of the day
Apart from Ganguly's shot, du Plessis' scorching straight drive was one that could have put a lawn mower to shame, and Ryder's pull off Dwayne Bravo made it clear tequila was not his favourite shot.

Crowd meter
In the expensive Southern Club Stand, cricket seemed to be on the last thing on the spectators' minds. They looked more interested in the parathas in the dinner boxes, than in Robin Utthappa on the field. And the young couples were more interested in public displays of affection than watching the action on the field.

The electronic screen displayed R Jadeja as the match referee, which made some spectators wonder whether the Indian batsman was officiating the match.

Entertainment
The DJs and the cheerleaders disappeared in the second half of the match. But the DJs were so awful in the first half that no one missed them in the second.

Overall
A fine cameo by du Plessis, excellent overall cricket by Steve Smith, and a heady knock by Ryder made the experience of watching cricket in an excellent stadium extremely enjoyable. It was heartening to see Ganguly, the captain who instilled aggression in India, and Dhoni, the captain who reaped benefits from it, chat with each other after the post-match presentation ceremony. Dada marshalled his limited resources well.

Marks out of 10
8. Two deducted for R Ashwin's unnecessary attempt to Mankad Smith.

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Sanjay Sardesai is a lawyer from Goa who loves Duckworth-Lewis more than the Civil Procedure Code. He is a big Sourav Ganguly fan, loves Danny Morrison's commentary, hates Ravinder Jadeja and Greg Chappell. He writes a satire blog on cricket.

Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Comments: 8 
Posted by xylo on (April 16, 2012, 21:59 GMT)

Ha ha... Why Dhoni? Even I would call Sachin and Sehwag slow. And Ganguly's retirement was hastened? Sour grapes eh?

Posted by atif83 on (April 16, 2012, 14:29 GMT)

Dear Dada, Till now u r doing better for PWI, but i'm requesting you to make slightly change in the team.Give chance to tamim and u have a great spinner steve smith but u r not trying him with the ball u have tried him with the bat only, try him with the ball also. Best of luck for rest of the game...

Posted by Unmesh_cric on (April 15, 2012, 20:37 GMT)

Ganguly-the captain is on a roll this season...hoping that Ganguly-the batsman will also give his fans something to cheer about. It is interesting that most the overseas players Pune have picked are at least good in two of the three disciplines. Samuels, Ryder, Matthews and Smith are all handy as bowlers. Pune have also been fielding pretty well. I think Steve Smith is an absolutely amazing fielder. The catch he took on the boundary to dismiss Raina was pretty tough one, but he took it nonchalantly. Also, he is in great form with the bat.

Posted by   on (April 15, 2012, 17:11 GMT)

Dada is a great captain, love his aggression and the hunger to perform, he might have lost some batting over the years, but he is the man to look up to for any leader

Posted by   on (April 15, 2012, 14:25 GMT)

Nicely written! Who the heck is ravindra jadeja anyways?

Posted by   on (April 15, 2012, 14:16 GMT)

If you are a fan you are bound to either love or hate Dada, there is no chance to be nutral about dada.

Posted by   on (April 15, 2012, 9:36 GMT)

Nicely written, it was a great game. Loved every minute of it, esp. Steve Smith's fireworks.

Posted by   on (April 15, 2012, 9:05 GMT)

This fan report was so biased , he was clearly showing his love for Dada .

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