Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 13 April 2012 - 08:50pm IST
Preview: Match 16 – PWI v CSK
Ganguly’s Warriors host confident Super Kings
Defending champions Chennai Super Kings, who will be on a high following their spectacular run-chase against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in their previous match, take on the Pune Warriors India in Match 16 of DLF IPL 2012.
MS Dhoni’s team, despite their daunting record in the IPL, haven’t looked dominating in their four matches this season. But they will be confident thanks to their stupendous performance in their previous match when they chased down 206 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Pune Warriors India have two wins from their three outings. However, they were bowled out for 115 – their lowest total in the IPL – in their previous match against Kings XI Punjab. Captain Sourav Ganguly was critical of the shots played by the PWI batsmen in that match, and it will be interesting to see how the batting unit lifts its game in this match.
Saturday, April 14, 2011, 08:00 p.m.
Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune
Out of the several established batsmen in the PWI ranks, keep a close watch on the explosive duo of Jesse Ryder and Robin Uthappa. Though the former has done little in the competition so far, CSK will know he is waiting to explode. The latter has been in good form this season, and has been scoring runs in IPL 2012. But he will also be aware of the fact that he has been guilty of not converting starts.
The Chennai Super Kings will be delighted that Faf du Plessis has made up – to a certain extent – for the absence of absence of Mike Hussey at the top of the order. Suresh Raina, who is the leading run-getter in the IPL, also has looked out of sorts. His aggregate of 92 runs in four innings doesn’t do justice to his talent and reputation.
MS Dhoni, who has often come in for criticism for batting lower down the order, promoted himself to No.4 in the previous match against RCB. That order – of Raina (at No.3), Dhoni, Bravo (at No.5) and Albie Morkel (at No.6) – gave the batting line-up a very formidable look. They will hopefully have learnt about their optimum batting line-up after that match and stick to it.
Pune Warriors India are still looking for their first win over the Chennai Super Kings. In the two meetings between the teams so far, CSK have been convincing winners both times. In the first meeting at the MA Chidambaram Stadium last year, CSK successfully defended 142 to win by 25 runs; while in their return fixture they chased down 142 to win convincingly by 8 wickets.
Pune Warriors India’s Alfonso Thomas is placed second in the list of leading wicket-takers in Twenty20 cricket. The 35-year-old, who has appeared in 134 Twenty20 matches, has bagged 156 wickets and is second behind Dirk Nannes (178 wickets).
If CSK’s Albie Morkel plays in this match, he will surpass David Hussey’s record to become the most-capped player in Twenty20 cricket.
Following this clash, Sourav Ganguly’s Pune Warriors India will undertake their first journey towards Southern India this season when they travel to Bengaluru to take on the Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 17. Meanwhile, MS Dhoni and co. will enjoy a brief break from action before they host PWI in their return fixture on April 19.