Pune Warriors host Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday, May 11, 2012, in what promises to be a one-sided game reminiscent of the Warriors’ last match, with Royals, that ended in a predictable thrashing at the hands of Dravid and company.
If an award were to be given to the team that promised the most in the initial part of the IPL season, and fell by the wayside in the latter part, PW would win by a country mile.
Ganguly’s men beat MI in their first game and the skipper’s captaincy came in for much praise as he led a bunch of no-hopers to victory against title contenders.
Ryder was the one player who threatened to transform the team with a few fierce batting displays but that was too good to last. While Clarke is in good form, he is no quintessential T20 player. Ganguly himself has been among the worst culprits with a strike rate in the region of 100. Uthappa has had a few starts but failed to convert them for the most part. Smith has done the rescue act on a couple of actions down the order and his fielding has been brilliant too.
Samuels has been a disappointment from the beginning with the bat though he has bowled well in patches. In the bowling, Nehra has been on and off as has Kartik. Parnell has done a decent job and his induction into the playing eleven has come a bit late in the season. Mathews has had a few odd good bowling spells. In a word, PW have been a patchy side and have never threatened to play as a team.
On Friday, they are up against an RCB squad fresh from massacring MI in their own den and the mind boggles at the thought of the likes of Nehra and Parnell and Kumar bowling to the likes of Gayle and De Villiers.
Can PW surprise RCB? As the saying goes, the glorious uncertainty of cricket makes anything possible. But there are limits to what absence of talent can achieve, uncertainty be damned. For PW to achieve the impossible they need to make radical changes beginning with the skipper himself. Make Clarke the captain for a start and take another look at the team composition. Consider dropping Ganguly and fgiving a chance to a youngster who can both bat and bowl such as Wagh or Ralphi Gomez.
PW’s probable eleven: Ganguly, Clarke, Uthappa, Majumdar, Smith, Mathews, Manhas, Parnell, Kumar, Kartik, Nehra.
RCB’s probable eleven: Dilshan, Gayle, Kohli, De Villiers, Agarwal, Tiwary, Mohammad, Kumar, Khan, Patel, Muralitharan.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
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.