Yuvraj Singh’s enthusiasm can be infectious, as Team India experienced in difficult situations on the World Cup 2011 campaign. Sahara Pune Warriors named him skipper for the debut season in Indian Premier League fourth edition, besides assembling a talented bunch of players.

The all-rounder, mature and confidence after an amazing contribution to India’s success, can hit the high in IPL 4 after being down in the dumps last time with Kings XI Punjab.

Warriors coach Geoff Marsh, assisted by Dermot Reeve and Praveen Amre, face a problem of plenty when chalking out selection plans. Apart from a match-winner in Yuvraj, the Pune squad tuning up at D Y Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai, for competitive matches has T20 specialists in Manish Pandey and Rohin Uttappa who made the switch from RoyalChallengers Bangalore. Both batsmen can turn a match around on individual performances and signing them up for debut season is a major coup for the IPL entrants.

New Zealand all-rounder Nathan McCullum and Jesse Ryder are explosive performers and the team’s progress upto the semifinals has given them opportunities to make adjustments in their game for sub-continent conditions. Both Kiwis can step in to fill up the gaps left in the bowling department forced by injuries to versatile Angelo Matthews and canny left-arm paceman Ashish Nehra. Both missed the final at Wankhede stadium due to injuries. West Indian paceman Jerome Taylor is considered a T20 specialist.

IPL success stories in earlier events have been built around the success of domestic stars. Pune Warriors have the right mix of experience and talent in Mohnish Mishra, Harpreet Singh, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Dheeraj Jadhav, Harshad Khadiwale, Shrikant Mundhe.

The calming effect of middle-order bat Mithun Manhas will be valuable to captain Yuvraj in taking quick decisions, while South African opener Graeme Smith has been part of a winning squad with Rajasthan Royals.

Team

Yuvraj Singh (captain), Graeme Smith, Mohnish Mishra, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Kamran Khan, Harshad Khadiwale, Mithun Manhas, Murali Kartik, Calum Fergusson, Tim Paine, Nathan McCullum, Jesse Ryder, Mitchell Marsh, Wayne Parnell, Jerome Taylor, Alfonso Thomas, Robin Uttappa, Manish Pandey, Harpreet Singh, Sachin Rana, Rahul Sharma, Ganesh Gaikwad, Imtiyaz Ahmed, Eklavya Dwivedi. Coach: Geoff Marsh

Keywords: IPL IV

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