Last Updated: Saturday, May 11, 2013, 13:41
Pune: Out of contention for a play-off spot, Pune Warriors` wretched run is unlikely to snap anytime soon as they would be up against the formidable Mumbai Indians in their next Pepsi IPL match on Saturday.
Similar to their performance last year when they lost nine matches on the trot, Pune suffered their eighth straight loss against Kolkata Knight Riders in their previous game yesterday, when they were beaten by 46 runs.
It would again be a daunting task for Aaron Finch`s boys against state rivals Mumbai, who would look to close-in on a play-off berth.
Languishing at the bottom of the table, Pune have won just two of their 13 games, while Mumbai Indians are third in the league table with eight wins in 12 matches.
The Warriors have been woefully out of sorts in all departments of the game. Having restricted holders Kolkata Knight Riders to 152, Pune failed to chase down the target and managed to score just 106.
Only opener Robin Uthappa (31) and all-rounder Angelo Matthews (40) got to double digit figures.
The batting is yet to fire in unison and only the openers have scored some runs at the top. Barring opener Finch`s three half-centuries and Uthappa`s couple of half-centuries this season, no other Pune batsman, which also includes the likes of Yuvraj Singh, has scored a fifty so far.
Yuvraj has managed just 172 runs from his 10 games, while dangerous batsman Steve Smith has returned to Australia due to a back injury.
Bowling also remains a big concern for Pune, especially at death as most of their bowlers have leaked runs. Pacer Ashoke Dinda, who conceded 63 runs while remaining wicket-less against Mumbai Indians the last time they played on April 13, has been expensive in the other games as well.
The Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians, on the other hand, are high on confidence after defeating table-toppers Chennai Super Kings (60 runs) and defending Champions Kolkata Knight Riders (65 runs) in their last two games.
Mumbai`s batting, however, has not exploded in all its glory so far, with senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar failing to convert his starts into big scores.
His opening partner, West Indian Dwayne Smith, has been in good touch, aggregating 263 runs in eight matches, with two half centuries in his kitty.
The middle-order has been the strength for Mumbai Indians, with wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik and Rohit being the leading run-scorers for the team.
The Mumbai captain has registered four half-centuries and scored 430 runs in 12 matches at an average of 53.75, while the keeper-bat has logged 388 runs in 12 games.
Mumbai`s decision to leave out their million dollar buy at this year`s auction, Glenn Maxwell, for all the 12 games so far, has been baffling.
The bowling attack is formidable with Aussie pacer Mitchell Johnson (17 wickets) providing early breakthroughs and he is well supported by Lasith Malinga.
The duo has been complemented well by Indian spinners Harbhajan Singh (16 wickets) and Pragyan Ojha (14 wickets) who have been choking up the runs and also taking wickets in the middle overs.
Pune Warriors: Aaron Finch (captain), Angelo Mathews, Abhishek Nayar, Ajanta Mendis, Ali Murtaza, Anustup Mazumdar, Ashok Dinda, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dheeraj Jadhav, Eklavya Dwivedi, Harpreet Singh, Ishwar Pandey, Kane Richardson, Krishnakant Upadhyay, Luke Wright, Mahesh Rawat, Manish Pandey, Marlon Samuels, Mitchell Marsh, Mithun Manhas, Parveez Rasool, Rahul Sharma, R Gomez, Robin Uthappa, Shrikant Wagh, T Suman, Tamim Iqbal, Udit Birla, Wayne Parnell and Yuvraj Singh.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Ricky Ponting, Abu Nechim, Akshar Patel, Aditya Tare, Aiden Blizzard, Ambati Rayudu, Amitoze Singh, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dinesh Karthik, Dwayne Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Harbhajan Singh, Jacob Oram, Jasprit Bumrah, Javed Khan, Jalaj Saxena, James Franklin, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Johnson, Munaf Patel, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Phil Hughes, Pawan Suyal, Pragyan Ojha, Rishi Dhawan, Sachin Tendulkar, Suryakumar Yadav, Sushant Marathe and Yuzvendra Chahal.
First Published: Friday, May 10, 2013, 12:11
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