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Pune Warriors India kickstart their IPL 2012 campaign by clashing with the Mumbai Indians who outshone the Chennai Super Kings in the opening fixture of the competition. It was a near-perfect performance from MI the other night in Chennai; the bowlers stuck to their task, the fielders backed up the bowling brilliantly, and the batsmen completed the chase with ease.
Pune Warriors India, meanwhile, will begin the season hoping to improve significantly from their performance last season where they finished ninth in the team standings.
Thursday, April 6, 2011, 04:00 p.m.
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai The Protagonists
South African batsman Richard Levi, who came into the IPL after slamming the fastest century in Twenty20 Internationals, impressed on IPL debut by scoring a half-century on a tricky surface at Chennai. Look out for him and for his opening partnership with Sachin Tendulkar. Mumbai Indians historically haven’t had great opening stands and the pairing of Levi and Tendulkar could just be the answer to that problem.
Also, look out for the usual suspects – Kieron Pollard and Lasith Malinga – and for Ambati Rayudu. The 26-year-old has been a consistent performer in a variety of roles for Mumbai Indians, and this season could be the boost he needs to realise his Team India dreams.
In the Pune Warriors India colours, keep a close eye on Sourav Ganguly; the 39-year-old came out of retirement and played for Bengal in domestic cricket in order to prepare himself for the IPL. The passion and intent is alive in him – but can he dominate bowlers like he did in his prime?
Also look out for the exciting Robin Uthappa and Jesse Ryder. Both men are capable of winning contests single-handedly; Uthappa did so for Karnataka in the domestic South Zone Twenty20 competition on more than one occasion while Ryder’s on-field credentials are indubitable.
On the bowling front, look out for Rahul Sharma who impressed in IPL 2011 and went on to play for India. He will want to prove last season’s success was not a flash in the pan. Previous Meetings
Mumbai Indians have a 100 percent win record against the Pune Warriors India; MI beat PWI on both occasions the teams clashed in IPL 2011. In the first meeting between these teams, at Mumbai, MI bowled out PWI for 118 and chased down the target off the last ball. In the second meeting, at Navi Mumbai, MI posted 160 for seven batting first and restricted their opponents to 139 for seven. Trivia
• Mumbai Indians have in their line-up the top three wicket-takers in the IPL. RP Singh tops the chart with 64 wickets, while Lasith Malinga (63 wickets) and Pragyan Ojha (62) follow him closely in second and third position respectively.
• Mumbai Indians are one of two teams (the other being Delhi Daredevils) to have effected 50 run outs in the history of the IPL. In the last game against CSK too, they ran three batsmen out.
• Among players who’ve scored more than 1000 runs in Twenty20 cricket, Mumbai Indians’ Kieron Pollard has the best batting strike-rate; he has scored 2597 runs at a strike-rate of 162.71. What next?
Pune Warriors India will be seen in action in two days’ time when they host Kings XI Punjab on April 8. Mumbai Indians will enjoy a couple of days’ break before they take the field against the Deccan Chargers at Visakhapatnam on April 9.
KKR coach says his team needs a good start in IPL 2012
By IPL Staff
Kolkata 04 April 2012
Kolkata Knight Riders did the City of Joy proud by getting past the league stage of the Indian Premier League for the first time last year. This year, the team looks to do better, having acquired some exciting names in the likes of Brendon McCullum, Marchant de Lange and Sunil Narine. Despite the optimistic outlook about the franchise in IPL 2012, head coach Trevor Bayliss urged a note of caution while speaking to the media ahead of KKR’s first game against the Delhi Daredevils at the Eden Gardens on April 5.
“Our first five or six games are in the first 15-16 days. So, it’s a very important first two weeks of the tournament. Obviously, the first game you want to get off to a good start so that you can go into the rest of the tournament with confidence. Any one team in this competition can win a match on their day, especially if you have a player like [Virender] Sehwag in the opposition,” Bayliss said.
He even sounded a warning that Delhi are not to be taken lightly despite being hampered by the absence of some of their big names – Mahela Jayawardene, David Warner and Kevin Pietersen – who are currently away on international duty.
“We don’t want to take them easy because those players are not here. If we go into the game thinking that way, we might be in for a nasty surprise. We will be going into the match knowing that the replacement players are fully capable of producing good results. We won’t be taking them easy, that’s for sure,” Bayliss said.
“I think it will be a good even game. Hopefully, it’s a good spectacle for the fans of Kolkata,” the KKR coach added.
International names playing alongside Indian players is pretty much the norm in the IPL. With that perspective, Bayliss confirmed that he would use the presence of Brett Lee and Gautam Gambhir in the side to figure out the details of every player, including Virender Sehwag in the opposition.
“We’ve not had our final team meeting as yet. We’ll do that tomorrow before the game. We’ve got the little left-handed captain [Gambhir] who has played fair bit of cricket with Sehwag. A lot of the international guys, whether it is the Indians or the overseas players, have played with each other a lot. I don’t think it is any secret knowing each other’s game. They will be able to pass on the strengths and weaknesses of everyone in the opposition and Sehwag is no different,” he said.
Speaking of the team composition before the match against the Daredevils, Bayliss confirmed that both the South African all-rounders, Jacques Kallis and Marchant de Lange, would be available for tomorrow’s match. With the availability of both those players confirmed, KKR, unlike Delhi, are in the envious position of having a host of international players – Ryan ten Doeschate, Lee, etc – to choose their final four overseas players for tomorrow’s game.
Bayliss agreed to this by saying, “It’s a good position to be in. I’d much rather be in that position rather than wondering who to pick.”
However, when it was pointed out that KKR had the luxury to choose from three world-class options in Gautam Gambhir, McCullum and Kallis for their opening combination, Bayliss responded with humour that KKR might still play “someone else” at that position.