Manish Pandey to bolster Pune Warriors line-up

Chennai: The return of hard-hitting batsman Manish Pandey after serving a ban is a huge plus for the Pune Warriors as they take on the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League here Monday, according to the visiting team coach Geoff Marsh.

"It`s good news that he (Pandey) will be ready for the next match. He is a good Twenty20 player and a good fielder. We will decide about his inclusion in the evening," said Marsh.

Pandey, the first Indian to score a century in the IPL (114 not out in 2009), had represented the Royal Challengers Bangalore for last two seasons, but was released and the Warriors bought him at the January auction. However, Pandey was slapped a four-match ban for breaching IPL`s player guidelines.

"We have sorted out a couple of areas of concern, where we put ourselves down in two earlier matches. But we are taking the match positively and are confident on regaining our momentum," said Marsh at the pre-match media conference here Sunday.

The former Australian batsman pointed out that it was difficult for any team to win every match although that is the primary intention, in view of the strength and depth of talent in every IPL team.

"All teams are even, and that`s the reason why we are seeing a lot of close matches. All franchisees have done a lot of homework before picking their players and hence they have players of all sorts - bowlers, batsmen and all-rounders - in the team.

"All sides have depth and players who have the ability to change matches. So you can`t expect to a team to win every game, though that`s what every team is trying. All you can do is to try and execute the plans," said Marsh in an obvious reference to his team`s record of two wins and two losses.

"We had a great start to the championship, winning the first two matches. We lost the third, which we could have won and against Mumbai, we had them on the mat at 16 for three before we let them run away with the match. You can`t afford to do that against a team like Mumbai," he asserted.

On the Chepauk pitch for the Monday`s game, Marsh said it was difficult to predict how the surface would behave and it was more important for the team to execute their plans.

"It`s hard to predict a good total. All you can do is to go by the book of averages. The Kotla wicket hasn`t been great for batting in the last couple of years, but the surface for yesterday`s match (over 400 runs scored) was fantastic. So, it`s up to the first ball of match, and then we will plan accordingly.

"It will be about a lot of things, how well we bat and how well they ball, how well both teams field, and not just the pitch that determines a game," he said.

Bureau Report