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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 07 May 2012 - 10:31pm IST

Preview: Match 52 – PWI v RR

Ganguly and co. take on Dravid’s army at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium

What

Match 52 of DLF IPL 2012 will feature the Pune Warriors India and the Rajasthan Royals.


Both teams started their campaigns on a high but haven’t been able to sustain their momentum. PWI lie eighth in the standings with four wins from twelve outings, while RR are sixth with five victories from eleven matches.

PWI will be the more desperate of the two teams; Sourav Ganguly and co. have been on the receiving end in each of their last five games and they will be keen to arrest that slide here, else they could soon be eliminated from the race for a place in the playoffs.

RR, meanwhile, will come into this contest as a confident unit; Rahul Dravid’s boys had lost four matches on the trot before handing Kings XI Punjab a 43-run thrashing two days ago. A win here will put RR in a relatively comfortable position to progress to the playoffs, especially given they will be left with three fixtures at their “fortress”.

When

Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 04:00 p.m.


Where


Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune


The Protagonists


Though Robin Uthappa, Sourav Ganguly and Steve Smith have all scored in excess of 200 runs for PWI, it is the latter who has been the most effective. Smith – 283 runs in eleven innings at a strike-rate of 150 – hasn’t had too many overs to bat, but he has still played an impact innings almost all the time.

On the bowling front, Ashok Dinda, the leading wicket-taker in Indian domestic cricket in the season just gone by, continues to impress. The Bengal lad missed a few matches because of injury, but returned to action in the previous match against KKR. He will be hoping to hit the straps as the tournament nears the business end.

Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Dravid, Owais Shah and Brad Hodge have been the pillars of Rajasthan Royals’ success story so far. Between them, the quartet has scored more than 76 percent of the runs scored by their team. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Rahane has been the revelation of this season; the Mumbai lad has not altered his game as far as technique and shot-making are concerned. He still plays strokes as they’re described in the coaching manual, but it is his intent to play them more often, his timing and his placement that have made him a sugar candy to watch. Dravid has – as he has done right through his international career – played second fiddle, while Shah and Hodge have played cameos when they’ve mattered the most.

Previous Meetings

The only previous time the Rajasthan Royals and Pune Warriors India met (at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur in 2011), the former emerged triumphant. The hosts restricted the visitors to 143 for seven and then chased it down in the last over, losing only four wickets in the process.

Trivia

Siddharth Trivedi – if he takes the field in this match – will join Shane Warne as the Rajasthan Royals’ most-capped player in the IPL.

In each of the five matches at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune this season, the captain winning the toss has opted to bat first.

What next?


The Pune Warriors India will stay put at home after this fixture and have the opportunity to put their feet up and recharge their batteries before hosting the Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 11. Rahul Dravid’s Rajasthan Royals, meanwhile, head back home to host the defending champions, Chennai Super Kings, on May 10.

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