Yuvraj Singh will lead Pune Warriors’ IPL 4 campaign against his former team, Kings XI Punjab, on Sunday, April 10.
Pune Warriors have the following foreign players at their disposal: Callum Ferguson, Nathan McCullum, Mitchell Marsh, Angelo Matthews, Tim Paine, Wayne Parnell, Jesse Ryder, Graeme Smith, Jerome Taylor and Alonso Thomas. In keeping with the rules of the IPL, a maximum of four players, from the above list, can play in Sunday’s game.
PW can also select seven or more men from their following bank of Indian players: Robin Uthappa, Shrikant Wagh, Rahul Sharma, Sachin Rana, Manish Pandey, Ashish Nehra, Mohnish Mehra, Shrikant Mundhe, Mithun Minhas, Harshad Khadi, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Kamran Khan, Murali Kartik, Dheeraj Jadhav, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Ganesh Gaikwad, Harpreet Singh, Ekalavya Dwivedi and Imtiyaz Ahmed.
My first choice from among the non-Indian players is Nathan McCulum, who bowls right arm off-break. The New Zealander is a more-than-effective batsman and I view him as being a genuine all-rounder. My next selection is McCullum’s fellow New Zealander jesse singh’s website Jesse Ryder. Ryder is a specialist batsman who can fill in as a part-time right arm medium pace bowler. My third choice is Tim Paine, a wicket keeper batsman, and my fourth selection, after much consideration, is Wayne Parnell.
By opting for Parnell, a specialist bowler, I have ignored Graeme Smith, South Africa’s skipper at the recent ICC World Cup. Had Angelo Mathews been available, neither Parnell nor Smith would have found himself in my eleven. Unfortunately, Mathews is out of contention for IPL 4, owing to an injury sustained by him, during the ICC World Cup.
In the Indian segment of the team, skipper Yuvraj is the obvious first choice. Apart from their captain, the Pune Warriors are also likely to include Robin Uthappa, Murali Kartik and Ashish Nehra. Manish Pandey can shore up the batting, while Kamran Khan can add variety to the bowling with his left arm medium fast deliveries.
That leaves just one place to be filled and I would prefer to allot that place to Mithun Minhas, as the team would want to have one more genuine all-rounder, to add to the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Nathan McCullum.
Here is my final eleven, in batting order: Jesse Ryder, Robin Utthappa, Manish Pandey, Yuvraj Singh, Tim Paine, Nathan McCullum, Mithun Minhas, Murali Kartik, Wayne Parnell, Kamran Khan, Ashish Nehra.