Hosts Pune pitch it wrong, but Delhi spot-on

Apr 25, 2012, 08:07 IST | Shreeram Gokhale

Playing at home is supposed to be an advantage in the IPL, not just for the crowd support, but as home teams are expected to know the pitch and the conditions better.

However, playing on a brand new pitch, that advantage was taken away from the Pune Warriors India yesterday as they got their pitch assessment terribly wrong.

Up and away: Pune Warriors India’s Robin Uthappa mishits one during his 58-ball 60 against Delhi Daredevils at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune yesterday

Unpredictable strip
“It’s still early days. It’s difficult to predict how this wicket will behave. In our game against Chennai, it was superb for batting, in the game preceding to that, it was similar to what it was today. The ball was certainly gripping and stopping a bit,” Pune Warriors India wicketkeeper-batsman Robin Uthappa said after Delhi got the better of the hosts by eight wickets at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium here yesterday.

“At the end of seven overs, when we took the strategic timeout, me and Manish felt that it was a 140-150 wicket. The team management felt the same. And we were pretty happy with what we had scored,” Uthappa said. As things turned out, the score proved way below par, as Daredevils won a hopelessly one-sided game with 24 balls to spare.

Pune played safe
Having lost two wickets in the first eight balls, Pune opted for a safe approach, and managed to score just 50 runs in the first 10 overs. So, was it too slow, Uthappa, who scored an unbeaten 60 off 58 balls, was asked. “That’s the question I kept asking myself when I saw the way Viru batted. He just made it look so easy,” was the Bangalorean’s reply. Despite being the away team, Sehwag had a much better understanding of the pitch. “It was a good wicket. I thought their pitch assessment was wrong. They thought it’s a 140-150 wicket, but it was not,” the Daredevils skipper said. Uthappa perhaps summed up the pitch assessment issue perfectly when he said: “I think today was a day when Viru just came and conquered.”

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