The signing of Sourav Ganguly by the Pune Warriors will certainly spark a renewed interest in the matches that the new franchise plays, but it may well be a bit late for them to qualify for the playoffs. Though he was available for the match against the Mumbai Indians and was seen practising at the ground he was not considered for the playing eleven which was baffling to say the least.
Why sign a player of Ganguly's ability and then keep him cooling his heels? Throwing a player in at the deep end often works better than having him steam it in the dressing room. Many years ago when M.L. Jaisimha was flown in as a replacement to Australia he went straight to the ground having arrived on the morning of the Test and got 75 and a century. Ravi Shastri flown into New Zealand as an 18 year old rookie also went directly into a Test match and captured 6 wickets and never looked back after that.
The Dada of all comebacks
Pune were playing the Mumbai Indians who have hardly put a foot wrong and so should have gone in with Ganguly but they didn't and they lost their seventh consecutive game and are pretty much out of contention for the play offs. The batting order did not make sense as Yuvraj went after Abhishek Jhunjhunwala who would have been under tremendous pressure since he hadn't played much earlier.
Yuvraj who has been in tremendous form should have batted at number three to give his team a chance to get to the total put up by the Mumbai Indians. Uthappa was slotted after Yuvraj at number six which again was hard to understand. If two of the costliest buys are only going to be there for a minor part of the innings then Pune will be wondering if they have spent wisely. No wonder they are in the position they are in.
Even if Pune look out of it the Royal Challengers and the Kings Eleven teams know that they are still in with a very good chance to get in the last four. The Bangalore team have picked themselves up very well after a slow start and are looking not just thirsty but hungry too. With a lineup that comprises Kohli and AB de Villiers they are capable of chasing a huge score and their fielding has been terrific too.
The Kings Eleven's campaign has been a stop start one but it's their determination that has kept them in the fray. Though Gilchrist is the one they look to get them off to a flying start the manner in which Valthaty has kept his cool and kept going is also admirable.
What Valthaty must realize is that he must play the game that he is comfortable with and not what the public expects. Therein lies his chance of making contributions which will get the cheers from the dressing room which are what a team games are about. Whoever wins their match gets closer to a place in the last four so it should be a tight one indeed.
Professional Management Group