Match 51 Preview: Ganguly looms large over KXIP vs PWI match

Placed at the bottom of the group and almost out of the tournament, Pune Warriors play Kings XI Punjab, who must win 5 out of remaining 6 matches to enter Knockout. Ganguly’s arrival may overshadow the match discussions. May his inclusion give some respect to Warriors in the Points Table. Earlier they have defeated Kings XI, but now Kings XI is no more the same side.

History
Both played in the initial phase of the tournament and Pune Warriors bowled them out of the match.

Head-to-Head: PWI 1, KXIP 0

    PWI def KXIP 7 wkts

2011 Performance
Pune Warriors had a good start and lost momentum later with 5 losses on trot now. 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. In the last match, the batsmen failed to chase a low total against CSK. In the back-to-back match against CSK, they failed to defend almost the same target. Against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last match, except Yuvi, the bowlers and batsmen succumbed. Again against Rajasthan Royals the batsmen failed to impress, and Warriors lost 6th game on a trot. Against MI they lost again, despite MOM performance of Rahul Sharma.

Kings XI, initially appearing the weakest team, shot into prominence with big wins. They first surprised 2010 champtions Chennai Super Kings at home, and then defeated 2009 champions Deccan Chargers. They earlier lost to Pune Warriors. Continuing their inspirational form, Kings XI humiliated Royals. The last match saw their unsuccessful chase in the high-scoring match against Delhi Daredevils. In the last match at Eden KKR handed them heavy defeat. They faced crushing defeat against MI, while in Bangalore Gayle’s record century and all-round performance knocked them out of Chinnaswamy.

Player’s Performance
Pune Warrior’s player performance index is not so high-profile. Manish Pandey has joined Yuvraj, Ryder, Uthappa and Mithun in 100-plus club. Their bowlers are performing better earning 46 wickets in 9 matches, but batting is failing to back-up.

Kings XI player performance index indicates how dependent they are on Valthaty. He is no more the current Orange Cap holder, Marsh is going strong, and he has Gilchrist and Karthik in 100-run club. Overall their bowling has improved taking 37 wickets in 8 matches.

Who Will Win Today!
Earlier, Pune Warriors won convincingly. Ganguly should boost their chances further to regain some pride. But, playing at Mohali the already successful top order of Kings XI can be dangerous. Considering the better bowling attack, Pune Warriors have better chances to win again.

Key Battles
Praveen Kumar vs Ryder/Uthappa/Yuvraj
The batting has not clicked for Warriors. In batting, Yuvraj has been the key. Kings XI bowlers have nothting much to boast about. Praveen Kumar has left his good form behind after first two matches. Chawla has been sometimes successful but have leaked runs. Warriors may entertain Mohali crowd with big hits.

Valthaty/Marsh vs Rahul Sharma/Thomas
The duo has been the best of their teams. Thomas and Rahul Sharma has performed way above the expectations tidying almost all while bowling. Valthay has been the most sensational in the first half of this tournament while Matsh appears to be regaining his old form. The tussle can decide the match winner.

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), Ganguly
Allrounder: Nathan McCullum, Angelo Mathews, Jesse Ryder, Mithun Manhas
Bowlers: Wayne Parnell, Jerome Taylor, Alfonso Thomas, Imtiyaz Ahmed, Kamran Khan, Murali Kartik, Ganesh Gaikwad, Harpreet Singh, Dheeraj Jadhav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shrikant Mundhe, Sachin Rana, Rahul Sharma, Shrikant Wagh

Kings XI Squad
Batsman: Adam Gilchrist (Captain/Keeper), Shaun Marsh, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Vikramjeet Malik, Nitin Saini, Paul Valthaty
Allrounders: David Hussey, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Mandeep Singh
Bowlers: Stuart Broad, Ryan Harris, Ryan McLaren, Nathan Rimmington, Love Ablish, Praveen Kumar, Amit Yadav, Bhargav Bhatt, Bipul Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Siddharth Chitnis, Paras Dogra, Shalabh Srivastava, Sunny Singh

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