Yuvraj Singh will lead the challenge of newbies Pune Warriors against his former Kings XI Punjab team in IPL 4, on Sunday, April 10.
Callum Ferguson, Nathan McCullum, Mitchell Marsh, Angelo Matthews, Tim Paine, Wayne Parnell, Jesse Ryder, Graeme Smith, Jerome Taylor, Alonso Thomas are the foreign players at their disposal, from among whom a maximum of four players can play in their eleven, in Sunday’s match.
PW can also select seven or more players from the following bank of Indian players: Robin Uthappa, Shrikant Wagh, Rahul Sharma, Sachin Rana, Manish Pandey, Ashish Nehra, Mohnish Mehra, Shrikant Mundhe, Mithun Minhas, Harshad Khadi, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Kamran Khan, Murali Kartik, Dheeraj Jadhav, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Ganesh Gaikwad, Harpreet Singh, Ekalavya Dwivedi, Imtiyaz Ahmed.
My first choice from among non-Indian players is Nathan McCulum who bowls right arm off-break is also a more than effective batsman and qualifies in my book as an all-rounder. My next selection is Jesse Ryder, McCullum’s fellow New Zealander, a specialist batsman who can fill in as a part-time right arm medium pace bowler. My third choice is Tim Paine, a wicket keeper batsman; for my fourth, after much thought, I have opted for Wayne Parnell, a specialist bowler, thereby ignoring the claim of Graeme Smith, South Africa’s skipper at the recent ODI world cup. Had Angelo Matthews been available, neither of these players would have found himself in my eleven.
Yuvraj is the obvious first choice in the Indian segment of the team; apart from the skipper, the side will also have Robin Uthappa, Murali Kartik and Ashish Nehra. Manish Pandey can shore up the batting, while Kamran Khan can add variety to the bowling with his left arm medium fast deliveries.
That leaves just one place to be filled and I will allot that to Mithun Minhas, as the team can do with one more genuine all-rounder, to add to the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Nathan McCullum.
Here is my final eleven, in batting order: Jesse Ryder, Robin Utthappa, Manish Pandey, Yuvraj Singh, Tim Paine, Nathan McCullum, Mithun Minhas, Murali Kartik, Wayne Parnell, Kamran Khan, Ashish Nehra.
This squad is a bit thin in its fast bowling resources and an injury to one of the main new ball operators could weaken the attack as there aren’t any quality back up options. That said, there is enough fire power in the batting, and Yuvraj’s recent form in the ICC world Cup augurs well for PW.
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An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.