Pune Warriors host Rajasthan Royals, on Tuesday, May 8, 2012, in a match that’s crucial to Royals’ bid to qualify for the play offs. PW’s campaign, though, is all but over and the side will be playing for pride.
Royals are currently in sixth place behind RCB and level on points with seventh placed Kings XI, and one point behind Vettori’s men. A win on Tuesday will give RR 12 points from as many games and push them ahead of CSK who have 11 from 12 games. If RCB were to loss to MI on Wednesday, the result would ensconce RR in fourth place.
A fine win against KXIP got RR’s campaign back on track. While Rahane had a rare failure at the top of the order, Dravid more than compensated, and got excellent support from Watson, Menaria and Hodge, in the middle order. Importantly, the bowlers fired but the most pleasing aspect would have been Watson’s all-round effort. The Australian’s induction into the team has come at an opportune moment and he could well propel the side into the play offs.
PW lost a great opportunity to beat MI, losing the match by one run. After that they managed to keep KKR down to a getable score and again failed in the chase. Ganguly’s men have failed to deliver the knock out punch when it mattered. And in the absence of marquee names, it’s hard to see how they can extricate themselves from their current mess.
RR go into this game as favourites but would do well not to give in to complacency against a side that are capable of upsetting them.
PW’s probable eleven: Uthappa, Clarke, Pandey, Smith, Manhas, Mathews, Ganguly, Parnell, Kumar, Kartik, Dinda.
RR’s probable eleven: Dravid, Rahane, Watson, Menaria, Hodge, Botha, Binny, Chavan, Yagnik, Tait, Trivedi.
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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.