The two teams that are reeling at the bottom of the table will be battling it out at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium when the lacklustre Pune Warriors India side takes on the hapless Kolkata Knight Riders.
The Pune Warriors India lies at the bottom of the table while the Kolkata Knight Riders enter this game in seventh spot. The tournament is over for them as progression is not possible. They can however play spoilers if they get a string of victories together.
Pune Warriors India has been substandard throughout the tournament. They showed glimpses of form with two emphatic victories, one over the Chennai Super Kings but since then it has been all downhill.
Other than Aaron Finch there has been no other player who has stepped up and taken the initiative. The absence of Michael Clarke and the uninspiring form with bat, ball and captaincy by his replacement Angelo Matthews has hurt the Pune team. They would be eager for the season to end so as to get back to the drawing board to prepare for next season.
Mitchell Marsh had more than his fair share of disciplinary problems during the last year, but the young Western Australian player is adamant that he has learnt valuable lessons from the issues he has encountered.
Although he remains firm in his belief that the issues at the Centre of Excellence and the Champions League in South Africa were blown out of all proportion.
Initially, Marsh found himself sent home from Cricket Australia's academy in Brisbane. The reason given, being that he had turned up for a training session in no fit state to take part. He was then one of a number of players who were dropped by the Perth Scorchers from their team at the CLT20 in South Africa, after the celebration of Marsh's 21st birthday got out of control.
With a hamstring injury limiting his playing opportunities during the Australian summer, Marsh had plenty of time to consider his priorities, and his ambitions for the future.
Confirmation that the newer venues on the international calendar in England and Wales are struggling to make hosting international matches a financially viable concern, was given further evidence, as Durham withdrew their hosting right to matches against India and Australia during the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
They were due to host a Twenty20 match against India in 2014, with an ODI against Australia in 2015. Despite the opposition being amongst the most attractive and popular in world cricket, the matches will now be put back out to tender for other grounds to bid for.
The initial tender process saw Durham win a package that also included matches against Sri Lanka in 2014 and New Zealand the following season. The county will retain those two matches in their schedule.
However, they have decided that hosting the games with India and the Australians is not in the best interests of the county club, which is under such financial pressure, that this season sees them unable to afford to engage an overseas player.
Sanath Jayasuriya, the chief selector of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), said that they gave preference to experience over young talent while selecting players for the squad for the Champions Trophy in England. The tournament will be started from June.
Sri Lanka is placed in Group A in the tournament. Other teams of this group are Australia, New Zealand, and the host England. Sri Lanka will begin their mission against New Zealand on June 9 in Cardiff.
On Thursday, Jayasuriya told reporters that the selection panel had picked a team with experience because it would face in the group three of the best ODI teams. He emphasized on the side’s priority to get into the next round of the tournament.
Jayasuriya pointed out to some youngsters who were given chance in the home series against Bangladesh. However, he made it clear that only an experienced side could handle the pressure of a big tournament like the Champions Trophy.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has been thinking of recalling some Sri Lankan players currently playing in the IPL. The board is going to hold a meeting next week to take decision about it. There is a possibility that it will request to the BCCI to discharge some underperforming players so that they can take preparations for the upcoming Champions Trophy.
Currently, ten Sri Lankan players are playing in the IPL. Nine of these players are included in Sri Lanka’s 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy. The SLC secretary, Nishantha Ranatunga, said that though they had been mulling over the issue for quite some time, they were yet to take any specific decision.
As a preparation for the Champions Trophy, the SLC has arranged for a triangular ODI series at Pallekele. The teams that will be played in the preparatory tournament are Sri Lanka ‘A’, SLC Combined XI, and Sri Lanka Rest (the selected team for the Champions Trophy). From May 12 to 20, the teams will play total seven limited-overs matches.
Ranatunga said that they were worried about the form of players, as many of them were not performing in the ongoing IPL. According to him, it would be better for the players to return home and participate in the triangular tournament instead of sitting idle on the bench in the Twenty20 tournament.
After suffering from a heavy defeat, Zimbabwe now find themselves in a do or die situation, as they face Bangladesh in the 2nd ODI of the 3 match series, tomorrow. Bulawayo will again be hosting the 2nd ODI.
After losing by a margin of 121 runs, Zimbabwe need to show a bit more resilience in their batting, otherwise their fate in the series looks sealed against the Bangladeshi spinners and pacers. For the worse, the remaining matches are also scheduled to be played on the slow track of Bulawayo.
Zimbabwe were also in disciplined in the bowling department, as their only bowler from the test matches, Shingi Masakadza gave away too much extras too help Bangladesh cause to reach 269.
However, he tried to make up with batting, but it was all too late. He needs to curtail down his wayward bowling, as he remains the key bowler for Zimbabwe in the 2nd ODI, tomorrow.
Only three batsmen from Zimbabwe, Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor and Shingi Masakadza, managed to cross 30, and that sums up their dismal performance.
By claiming himself ‘better than most’, Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan all-rounder, has vowed to make his way back to the ODI squad. Along with fast bowler Sohail Tanvir and middle-order batsman Umar Akmal, he was ruled out of the team for the upcoming Scotland and Ireland tours besides the Champions Trophy in England in June.
Afridi said to the ‘Daily Jang’ that captain Misbah-ul-Haq took the decision of not including him in the squad. However, he told that it was not a big deal if a captain wanted to exclude a player. According to him, such things happen frequently in cricket. He also sounded positive about coming back to team very soon.
He claimed himself to be better than most of the players present in the team. He uttered with confidence that he could still represent the side for a few more years because he had much cricket left in him. He took it as a normal thing to get dropped from the team and requested his fans to pray for his return.
Before this time, the 33-year-old all-rounder was also dropped from the ODI team during Pakistan’s India tour in December 2012. However, the selectors later included him in the squad for South Africa tour by considering his skill as a legspinner.
Chanaka Welegedara, Sri Lanka fast bowler, has earned a recall for the ODI squad. The selectors called him for the 15-man squad of Sri Lanka’s ODI team for the Champions Trophy in England in June.
Since mid-2010, Welegedara has not participated in any international limited-overs match. He took this break because of a hamstring injury that compelled him returning home through the mid-way of Sri Lanka’s Test series in Australia in December.
Two senior players of the team Mahela Jayawardene and Rangana Herath returned to the squad as expected. Both of them missed Sri Lanka’s previous ODI series against Bangladesh in March. Herath has been rested for that series while Jayawardene was absent due to a finger injury.
The selectors did not consider batsman Upul Tharanga. It was somewhat expected as he had a poor series against Australia, scoring only 13 runs in 3 innings, and was not picked in the final XI in the series against Bangladesh. The offspinner Ajantha Mendis could not make it to the squad either. He did not play in Bangladesh one-dayers too.
After losing yet another match, the Kolkata Knight Riders will now face the ever improving Rajasthan Royals, in the 47th fixture of IPL 6, tomorrow. The Eden Gardens, Kolkata is all set to host this expected enthralling encounter.
The Knight Riders poor form continued in the last match as well, as they lost to the disappointing Daredevils too. The Knight Riders only managed to set a target of 137, which the Daredevils chased with 13 balls to spare. Even Sunil Narine’s economical bowling could not stop the Daredevils.
Failing to convert good starts has been a big problem for the Knight Riders batsmen, and it was widely evident in their previous game. Gautam Gambhir has been out of form for long, and he should also rest himself like Adam Gilchrist and Kumar Sangakkara to give youngsters a go.
Eoin Morgan’s heroics cannot be achieved in every match, and the whole top and middle order needs show a bit of responsibility, if the Knight Riders want to rise up from the bottom of the pit.
Even in the bowling, they are largely dependent on Narine, which is a worrying sign for the team. The other bowlers also need to perform in the upcoming games, as the Knight Riders look to save face.
After a bad performance in their last match, the Pune Warriors will now look for a much needed win as they will face the Royal Challengers Bangalore, in their upcoming match, tomorrow. This 46th match of the season will be hosted by the Warriors at Pune.
The Pune Warriors could only reach 127 in pursuit of the Chennai Super King’s score of 164, in their previous game. Earlier, their bowlers failed to pick up quick wickets, and enabled Chennai to post 164. After that, the batsmen were not able to cope with the pressure of the chase, and failed badly.
Lack of experienced and class bowlers has been a problem for the Warriors since the beginning of the season, and this trouble is likely to haunt them in tomorrow’s game as well. They have to develop a plan to be effective as a bowling unit.
Moreover, their main batsmen are out of form as well, and that is a worrying sign for the Warriors.
Continuous failures from Robin Uthappa and Yuvraj Singh have been quite disappointing. These two classy players also have to convert class into performance to justify their selection in the playing XI.
After grabbing another comfortable victory in their last match, the Chennai Super Kings will now face the spirited, yet inconsistent, Kings XI Punjab in the 45th fixture of IPL 6, tomorrow. The Super Kings will play host to the Kings XI at Chennai.
The Super Kings managed to set a target of 164 in their previous encounter, despite a rare failure from Michael Hussey. They were helped by their skipper, MS Dhoni, who blasted 45 off just 16 balls. Their opponents, the Pune Warriors could only make 127 runs.
The local talent, Mohit Sharma turned out to be Super Kings best bowler, as they defeated the Warriors by 37 runs. If local players also continue to contribute like this, there will be no stopping the Chennai Super Kings in IPL 6.
The Super Kings spinners, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin have been the key for their success till now. Super Kings chances will be largely dependent on the performance of these two main spinners, tomorrow.
On the other hand, the Kings XI Punjab lost a thrilling contest against the Mumbai Indians. While chasing 175, the Kings XI required 5 off the last ball, but could not secure victory.
Pakistan has announced their team for the upcoming Champions Trophy. The team does not include some known faces like all-rounder Shahid Afridi, pacer Sohail Tanvir, and middle-order batsman Umar Akmal. Umar Gul was excluded because of injury.
Some players who missed the South Africa tour were able to make it to the team this time. The players are batsman Umar Amin and fast bowlers Asad Ali and Ehsan Adil. The Champions Trophy will be held in England this June.
On Monday, the selectors met in Lahore to cut the 29-men team down to 15 players. This same team will also play the ODI matches against Ireland and Scotland before the Champions Trophy.
Iqbal Qasim, the chief selector, said that Afridi was ruled out due to his low-key performances as a bowling all-rounder and failure to score at crucial occasions. Qasim made it clear that any player failing to perform has to go out of the team. However, he said that Afridi’s career was not finished yet and the all-rounder could make a comeback by performing at the domestic level.
Australian Trent Woodhill has been appointed as the new batting coach of Pakistan for the upcoming Champions Trophy in England this June. He will start working after the team’s arrival at England for playing the Champions Trophy. His three weeks with the national team will be considered as the probation period. The board will take the final decision after considering his performance during that period.
The 42-year-old coach is currently serving in the IPL. He is a part of Delhi Daredevils’ support staff. He performed the role of the assistant coach of the New Zealand team till last year. He also had a stint with Melbourne Stars in Australia’s Big Bash League.
The PCB Director international cricket, Intikhab Alam, said to the reporters that the PCB had offered Woodhill the job of a batting coach for a short term and the latter accepted it. According to Intikhab, Woodhill would be under watch for the trial period and his contract would be extended if he could satisfy the management with his work.
Pakistan’s sloppy and fragile batting has actually prompted the PCB to appoint a batting coach for the team. The Pakistani batsmen failed miserably in the South Africa tour where they lost both the Test series by 3-0 and the ODI series by 3-2.
After securing a much needed victory in their last match, the Delhi Daredevils now look to extend their winning streak against the Kolkata Knight Riders, tomorrow. This 44th fixture of IPL 6 will be hosted by the Daredevils at Raipur.
The two Indian pacers, Irfan Pathan and Umesh Yadav came good at the right time, as the Daredevils successfully defended their 164.
These two blokes have the potential to be successful at this level, but lack of commitment and fitness is the main problem. Nevertheless, they are getting into their groove, and the team will require another decent performance from them tomorrow.
Virender Sehwag and Mahela Jayawardene, have got starts and they are due for a big performance again. These two players and Warner will be the key batsmen for the Daredevils tomorrow.
On the other hand, the Knight Riders lost a high scoring game against the Chennai Super Kings. Maninder Bisla almost matched Michael Hussey’s superb knock, as the Knight Riders reached 186 in pursuit of 200. Bisla managed 92 off just 61 balls, in comparison to Hussey’s 95 off just 59 balls.
After a winter in which he made astonishing, if unexpected strides onto the international stage, Joe Root finds himself named as the captain of the England Lions (effectively the 2nd XI) for the four day match against the touring New Zealand team, which is due to start at Leicester on May 9.
Originally, Root had been due to skipper the Lions on their tour to Australia during the summer, where they played a number of limited overs matches. However, he found himself called up to the senior squad, and his place as Lions skipper was taken by James Taylor.
Taylor who started his county career at Leicester, but now plies his trade with Nottinghamshire, is selected for the New Zealand match, having started the English summer in fine form with a century and a 97 under his belt already. Taylor will be somewhat relieved to think that he is still very much in the selectors' minds, after the Lions performed poorly on tour, although Taylor himself was one of the few successes.
The squad has one or two surprises. Perhaps none more so, than the selection of Michael Carberry, who played a single Test in Bangladesh, back in 2010.