Desperate for a win to keep their play-offs hopes alive, Pune Warriors India take on Rajasthan Royals in the match 53rd of IPL 5 on Tuesday. The Sourav Ganguly-led Pune have lost five of their last six clashes and have to win all the matches if they need to qualify for the play-offs.
Rajasthan on the other hand will come into this match following their thumping win over Punjab by 43 runs and need to win atleast three of their last five matches to give them a chance to qualify for the play-offs. With the coming of allrounder Shane Watson and fast bowler Shaun Tait, Rajasthan have got the balance in both bowling and batting to go into this match as clear favourites.
Batting has not been a problem for Rajasthan as skipper Rahul Dravid and young gun Ajinkya Rahane have done superbly well at the top and the middle order too have responded with runs. But what ails Rajasthan is that they haven't been able to hold their nerves in crunch situations and have lost few close games. The bowling department will be fired up with the incoming of Tait and he along with Watson and Rajasthan's domestic firepower can give opponents batsmen run for their money.
On the other hand, Pune too have lost close matches and their morale has taken a beating with five defeats in a row. Rajasthan would look to pile on the misery of the hosts. Pune were hoping that the addition of Michael Clarke in their ranks would give a boost to their batting but the Australian skipper is yet to fire. Moreover, the likes of Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey and Mithun Manhas have also failed to make any impact for Pune. Sourav Ganguly has shown signs of some form but he has not been consistent as well.
Pune’s foreign players are the saving grace for the team so far as the bowling of pace duo Angelo Mathews and Wayne Parnell can give opposition batsmen some jitters and Steve Smith has been the bright star with his electrifying fielding and handy batting at the death.
Rajasthan Royals: 1.Rahul Dravid (c), 2.Ajinkya Rahane, 3.Shane Watson, 4.Brad Hodge, 5.Dishant Yagnik (wk), 6.Johan Botha, 7.Stuart Binny, 8.Ashok Menaria, 9.Ankeet Chavan, 10.Shaun Tait, 11.Siddharth Trivedi
Pune Warriors India: 1.Robin Uthappa (wk), 2.Manish Pandey, 3.Michael Clarke, 4.Sourav Ganguly (c), 5.Steven Smith, 6.Angelo Mathews, 7.Mithun Manhas, 8.Wayne Parnell, 9.Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10.Murali Kartik, 11.Ashok Dinda