Pune Warriors will host Rajasthan Royals in the 52nd game of the Indian Premier League this season at the Sahara Stadium in Pune.
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A Historical View:
The Warriors have gotten themselves into a bit of a rut. They have lost five games in a row and are lying eighth on the points table. The batting and the bowling has suffered in equal bits and what will worry the management is that they have rarely played well together.
The Rajasthan Royals were themselves in a bit of mess with four successive defeats before turning the corner against the Kings XI Punjab last game. They have 10 points from 11 games and a win will take them to the fourth spot ahead of Chennai Super Kings in the points table.
Rajasthan have won the only game played between these two teams last season.
Rajasthan Royals went into the previous game with five changes to their line-up, bringing in Johan Botha and Shaun Tait to their line-up. The Pune track, however, has shown that it takes a little turn and is slower than the one where the Royals played their last game. Brad Hogg may come back into the playing 11.
The rest of the line-up shouldn’t change given how well the side had played, with Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane to open and Shane Watson to bat at three. Brad Hodge’s role as a finisher is coming on well and that should help too.
Rahane could be the man to look out for this game after a quieter match last time.
Pune Warriors will be tempted into fiddling around with their line-up but what they actually need is for players to perform. Michael Clarke and Steven Smith haven’t had a great last two games and despite a poor decision against each of them last two matches, they will need to start scoring.
They are missing a player like Jacques Kallis in the middle of the order, which is making life difficult. Sourav Ganguly hasn’t done the job with the bat consistently enough and the decision to push him to the number seven position wasn’t too bad – however, the big question is whether the others can rally around him.
IPL 2012 live options:
You can watch the Pune Warriors v Rajasthan Royals IPL 2012 match live online here
. You can also watch the Pune Warriors v Rajasthan Royals IPL 2012 live on Sony’s Set Max in India and ITV4 in the UK from 10.30 am GMT on May 8.