Since making their IPL debut in 2010,the Pune Warriors have played 39 matches,of which they have lost 29 an alarming loss percentage of 74.35. This season they have lost five on the trot,and have not won at home.
Eight losses out of 10 matches could tempt the team management to take a re-look at their bench,especially as Pune boasts of the biggest squad and can chose from 33 players.
Coach Allan Donald had made his policy clear at the start of the season avoid chopping and changing. However,the South African did not have the luxury of foreseeing the poor run his team would suffer. Playing against RCB on Thursday,Pune will have to overcome the horrific mental scars that Chris Gayle inflicted on the bowlers in last week’s game with his unbeaten 175. Gayles 66-ball knock had shattered the confidence of the Pune bowlers who will have to come up with a Plan B. Donald might do well to look at options for this game in an effort to end the losing streak. Pune have in their ranks Jammu and Kashmir all-rounder Parvez Rasool,someone who has shown that he can be a very handy bowler. With a T20 economy rate of 5.94,Rasool can be used by the Warriors to choke the run-flow in the middle overs.
English all-rounder Luke Wright blazed his way to a nine-ball 34 in his first match against Kings XI Punjab,but since hasn’t made the kind of impact he would have liked. His military medium has also not proven to be too helpful.
Pune can try a like-for-like replacement in the form of South African all-rounder Wayne Parnell. Parnell has had a good T20 season back in South Africa for the Warriors,picking up seven wickets in five matches and comes with a reputation for bowling accurate yorkers. Parnell might be able to help solve Pune’s death-overs problem.
They can also opt for medium-pacer Shrikant Wagh,who picked up 12 wickets in seven Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy games after scalping 16 wickets at 15.37 from five matches during the Vijay Hazare trophy. Sri Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis has played just one game so far and the Warriors might do well to pair the Sri Lankan with Rahul Sharma.
Mendis’s variations coupled with Sharma’s accuracy might prove an effective spin combination.