IPL 2012 preview: Litmus test for Pune against table-topping Delhi

The Delhi Daredevils have been a dominating team in the league till the defeat against Pune Warriors in their last match AFP

Pune: Apr 23, 2012

Pune Warriors would look to extend their good run while table-toppers Delhi Daredevils would have revenge on their mind when the two teams square off in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday.

The Daredevils have been a dominating team in the league till the defeat against Pune in their last match. They have won four of the six matches so far on the back of a solid all-round performance.

While Delhi have been a force right from the start, Pune have gradually shifted the gears. They have worked hard as a unit and have a good skipper in Sourav Ganguly, who knows the art of getting the best out of his players.

Still, it will be challenge for him to continue with the good work as they have a very strong batting, the top-order of which is packed with at least four big-hitting batsmen, to contend with.

All top Daredevils batsmen — Skipper Virender Sehwag, Kevin Pietersen, Mahela Jayawardene and Ross Taylor — are in good nick. However, their bowlers hold the key in the clash as the race to be in top-four is gradually hotting up.

They can chase a big total with these batsmen in the line-up but Twenty20 is a format where two-three overs can change the complexion of a game.

So, the key is to not let Pune score much runs on the board, like they did in the last match by rattling up 192.

Although the track at the Subrata Roy Sahara stadium promises loads of runs, if Delhi bowlers can make early in-roads into Pune line up, it would serve them well.

South African paceman Morne Morkel has been their main bowler so far with 15 scalps and how he fares along with Irfan Pathan would actually shape up the match for them.

Similarly how Pune batsmen handle these two bowlers would have a bearing on the result of this match.

Morkel was taken to cleaners by Pune in the last outing and if the host batsmen could maintain their dominance over the Proteas, their job would become easy.

A win would perch Pune on the top of the table at least till the result of the other match of the day between Kolkata Knight Riders and Deccan Chargers.

The host would look to openers Jesse Ryder and Robin Uthappa for a good start, which could be capitalised later on by the likes of Ganguly, Steven Smith and Angelo Mathews.

Experienced duo of ageing paceman Ashish Nehra and spinner Murali Karthik would have to take the responsibility of stopping the Delhi batsmen.


DD (Probable): Virender Sehwag (c), Naman Ojha(wk), Kevin Pietersen, Mahela Jayawardene, Ross Taylor, Irfan Pathan, Yogesh Nagar, Morne Morkel, P Negi, Shahbaz Nadeem, Umesh Yadav

PW (Probable): Jesse Ryder, Robin Uthappa (wk), Sourav Ganguly (c), Angelo Mathews, Steven Smith, Manish Pandey, Alfonso Thomas, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Murali Kartik, Rahul Sharma, Ashish Nehra

Time: 10:30 GMT (16:00 local)