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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”.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 04:00 p.m.
Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune
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.
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.
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.
Injured KXIP captain says his hamstring has progressed well over the last week
By IPL Staff
Hyderabad 07 May 2012
The Indian Premier League comes to the city of Hyderabad for the first time in 2012 as the Deccan Chargers get set to host Kings XI Punjab at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here in Uppal. Adam Gilchrist, who captains the Punjab franchise, has been unavailable in the past few matches because of a hamstring injury he sustained earlier in the tournament. While he said that his hamstring has progressed really well, the KXIP captain clarified that a final call would be taken only on the day of the game. Excerpts:
On whether he will play tomorrow’s game:
Not sure. I’ve just had a really good workout. It’s [the hamstring] really progressed well over the last few days. The signs are positive, but we’ll see how it pulls up tomorrow and make a decision from there. The thing is that we have got four or five days until our next game after this one [and] so I guess there is a temptation to leave it one more [game] and have about a week’s recovery. But it felt pretty good, so I’ll see how it is tomorrow.
On playing his former team, the Deccan Chargers:
Same as any other game really – two points up for grabs. We got them [Deccan Chargers] back-to-back now. It’s a great cricket ground. I really enjoyed playing here previously. It’s a good challenge for us. Hopefully, we can play some more cricket that we were playing prior to our last game. It wasn’t a great performance by us [in the last game]. We’ve thought about that, and hopefully, we can turn that around tomorrow. On Kings XI Punjab’s campaign this year, including a couple of last-ball losses:
It’s been symbolic of the tournament as a whole. Maybe Kolkata [Knight Riders] are a team that may feel that they have played pretty consistently all the way through. But the other teams have been up and down a little bit. It’s been a unique tournament in that regard and we’ve been no different. We haven’t strung more than two wins in a row and that’s what teams strive for, to get that third win, the fourth win and get that positive feeling around. We’ve played some good cricket and some not so good cricket. It’s been about searching for the consistent game really. We’ve showcased some young Indian players – Mandeep Singh and Nitin Saini to name a few. And Parvinder Awana has been terrific. It’s been positive in that regard.
On playing well in away games:
That’s four big games. Four real challenges against top opposition in what can be pretty intimidating stadiums. Hopefully, that holds us well prepared for another away game tomorrow. But I don’t quite see where the home-and-away theme comes from for us; on why it is better away and not at home. That’s just the way it has panned out.
On whether he has found it difficult watching the team from the sidelines:
Not difficult at all, surprisingly. I’ve felt very comfortable. I’m closer to the end of my career. I’ve enjoyed the deeper involvement from a coaching perspective and have really enjoyed watching the boys play.
On whether he has any point to prove playing against the Deccan Chargers:
No. Like I said, it’s just another game. It’s another two points up for grabs. I look forward to the challenge. It goes without saying that it’s wonderful to be back in Hyderabad. The people are so friendly, the hotel staff and everybody. That’s a nice touch. The fans were always supportive.