Daredevils and Knight Riders will take on each other on Tuesday, May 22, 2012, in the first qualifier, at Pune, a neutral venue. The Subrato Roy Sahara India Stadium is a new one that was only commissioned this year, and both these teams have played just one match each at the venue.
DD played here long ago on April 24, and the behaviour of the wicket was very different to what we saw when KKR played there recently. Opting to bat first, Pune managed to score just 146/2, on the back of MK Pandey’s unbeaten 80 supported by Uthappa who made 60 not out, with the pair coming together at 1/2. Pathan 1/23 and Morkel 1/34 were the wicket takers for DD. Barring Yadav who went for 40 runs off his four overs, the other bowlers conceded less than nine an over. Spinners Negi and Nadeem identically conceded just 5.5 runs per over.
When DD batted, Jayawardene was run out with the scoreboard reading 22/1 when Pietersen joined his skipper Sehwag. The two were involved in an 89 run partnership in which Pietersen’s contribution was merely 27 before he fell to Sharma. Sehwag went on the rampage and got 87 off 48 to shepherd his team to an 8-wicket win. Interestingly, frontline spinnesr Sharma and Kartik went for 8.5 and 6.25 runs per over respectively, while seamers, Nehra, wright and Ganguly conceded more than 10 an over. Though there wasn’t much assistance in the form of turn, spinners were harder to get away.
When Kolkata played here a week ago, the wicket was slow and low and offered vicious turn. Not many commentators gave KKR a chance after they managed just 136 batting first. But as in the case of their previous game against MI, KKR dispensed with Lee in favour of Shakib and a spin-dominant attack, with Narine and Abdullah the other frontline tweakers, Gambhir’s men kept PW down to 102 to help register a facile 34 run victory.
It is not clear whether the same track – as was used in the KKR match – will be used for the qualifier on Tuesday. But one thing is certain: Sehwag will have to rethink his team selection if he doesn’t want to hand the advantage to KKR. Morne Morkel and Yadav could be the sole seamers, with Nadeem likely to return to the side (at the cost of Aaron) to join Negi. Rao can also turn his arm over as can Sehwag himself.
The nature of the wicket could neutralise the explosive component of DD’s batting with the likes of Warner and Taylor less likely to treat the KKR spinners with the disdain they show seamers. Under the circumstances, Sehwag and Jayawardene could be key to DD’s fortunes in this game.
About the Author (Author Profile)
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.