Chennai Super Kings and Pune Warriors India will play their first match. They share commong past. Both have lost 2 consecutive matches, both have lost last matches to Mumbai Indians. Both started on a good note too, and now both need wins to restart their campaign.
Pune Warriors being the new team in the block, there is no team history. Yet, the individuals know each other very well having played in the international and local arena together or against each other. Pune Warriors captain, Yuvraj Singh, will lead his team against his teammate and friend Dhoni, CSK captain. Both have played against each other earlier when Yuvraj led and later just represented Kings XI Punjab. If Southee and Smith play, the contest between respective own teammates Ryder and Morkel would be a treat to watch.
Chennai Super Kings had a balanced and composed tournament so far with 2 victories and 1 loss. The teams looks formiddable, although batting is ruled by Indians till now, except one performance from Hussey. They have snatched victory from the mouth of defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders in firtst match. Kings XI surprised them with the Valthaty hammer, whereas against Royal Chalengers, the comfortable victory brought calm and composed look back on team member’s face. They were the last victim of Tuskers wonderful campaign and lost comfortably in the rain-curtailed match. Later they also lost to the Group Champion Mumbai Indians.
Pune Warriors had a good start and lost momentum later. They have played the least number of matches so far, only 4 matches. Both matches they won batting second, but lost third match in high scoring game when they had to defend. In the first match they defeated Kings XI by 7-wickets, while in 2nd match defeated Kochi Tuskers by 4-wickets. But, against Delhi Daredevils at home, their bowlers failed to defend the high total. Mumbai Indians forced them into submission with bowling.
For Chennai, no individual has outshone others in player’s performance index in last four matches. Murali Vijay, Raina, Dhoni and Badrinath have crossed the 100 barrier. Randiv is the highest wicket takers. But their bowlers have managed to take only 22 wickets in 5 matches.
Pune Warrior’s player performance index is not so high-profile. Uthappa has joined Ryder in 100-plus club, while Yuvraj needs 5 more runs to get there. But their bowlers have taken more wickets than any other team, earning 22 wickets in just 4 matches.
Who Will Win Today!!
Considering the teams, Chennai Super Kings have a clear advantage. They have 4 batsmen in 100-club as compared to just 2 by Pune Warriors. But bowling shows Pune has better record. While both have taken 22 wickets, Pune Warriors have played one match lesser than Chennai Super Kings to achieve the feat. But another vicoty for CSK may take care of batting and bowling issues. The match can be termed as bowling (PWI) vs batting (CSK) contest, and considering the options, Pune Warriors India may emerge victorious.
Yuvraj vs Dhoni
Dhoni has been the best Indian captain, and Yuvraj is the best Indian player since World Cup. Yuvraj is leading second IPL team, after Kings XI, while Dhoni has stuck to the same team and made it the most successful IPL team among all. The match is not only just a match, it will be another announcement in Indian cricket. But captain cool Dhoni against devastative Yuvraj would be the best treat to watch. While Dhoni can make his team win without his performance, Yuvraj must perform with bat and then bowl too to earn another victory for Pune Warriors. Still, Dhoni’s captaincy have tied all other major players, including Yuvraj whose ex-team Kings XI could not record any win in 2008 against CSK. A repeat cannot be avoided.
Bollinger/Morkel vs Ryder/Yuvraj
Bollinger and Morkel are the key CSK bowlers. But, considering the pitches tend to support slower bowlers, if both fail then Ryder and Yuvraj will have a memorable day with bat. Both are in good nick and if they can thwart the challenges thrown by Bollinger or Morkel, Pune Warriors may have won half the match.
Hussey/Murali/Raina vs Pune Bowling
CSK batting is very strong, although Raina is yet to show form. Pune Warriors bowling came good in first two matches, but after that they are mediocre. It appears a mismatch, and Pune bowling must win the battle against Kings batsmen to stop the chain of defeats of their team. On the other hand Hussey, Murali, Badrinath and above all Raina would like to hit 200-plus, if they can bat first against the spineless bowling.
Batsmen: Dhoni (Captain), Faf du Plessis, Michael Hussey, Srikkanth Anirudha, Subramaniam Badrinath, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Murali Vijay
Allrounders: Dwayne Bravo, Albie Morkel, Scott Styris, Suresh Raina, Yo Mahesh
Bowlers: Tim Southee, Doug Bollinger, Ben Hilfenhaus, Suraj Randiv, Nuwan Kulasekara, George Bailey, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shadab Jakati, Joginder Sharma, Abhinav Mukund, Sudeep Tyagi, Kuthethurshri Vasudevadas, Ganapathi Vignesh
Pune Warrior Squad
Batsman: Yuvraj Singh (Captain), Mitchell Marsh, Callum Ferguson, Tim Paine (WK), Graeme Smith, Manish Pandey, Eklavya Dwivedi, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Harshad Khadiwale, Mohnish Mishra, Robin Uthappa (WK)
Allrounder: Nathan McCullum, Angelo Mathews, Jesse Ryder, Mithun Manhas
Bowlers: Wayne Parnell, Jerome Taylor, Alfonso Thomas, Ashish Nehra, Imtiyaz Ahmed, Kamran Khan, Murali Kartik, Ganesh Gaikwad, Harpreet Singh, Dheeraj Jadhav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shrikant Mundhe, Sachin Rana, Rahul Sharma, Shrikant Wagh