After facing defeat in the last match against Chennai Super Kings in a low scoring match, Pune Warriors must be aware what it needs to take Dhoni’s team. Yuvraj has failed to figure the formula, despite being out of Kings Xi, as Dhoni and CSK, by his self-admission are his biggest challenge. Warriors will look forward to improved Yuvraj for avenging defeat in the back-to-back match against CSK, who would target the 2nd spot now with another easy win.
Pune Warriors lost a match that can be termed one-sided. Their bowlers did well to restrict Chennai Super Kings to a total below 150. But Captain Dhoni and his bowlers just could not let the Pune Warrior Batsmen, including Yuvraj Singh play a single shot properly. The result saw a frustrated Yuvraj confessing how difficult it had been for him in 3 attempts to score well against CSk. Pune Warriors must win to prove they are not a replica of Kings XI Punjab when it comes to playing against CSK.
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, and comfortably won the first match against Pune Warriors, defending a low total.
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. In the last match, the batsmen failed to chase a low total against CSK.
For Chennai, no individual has outshone others in player’s performance index in last four matches. Hussey is set to reach 200-mark, while Murali Vijay, Raina, Dhoni and Badrinath have crossed the 100 barrier. Morkel is the highest wicket takers. Bowlers have managed to take 28 wickets in 6 matches, and gave exceptional performance in the last match against Pune Warriors.
Pune Warrior’s player performance index is not so high-profile. Yuvraj has joined Ryder and Uthappa in 100-plus club. But their bowlers have taken more wickets than any other team, earning 28 wickets in just 5 matches.
Who Will Win Today!!
Considering the teams and last match, Chennai Super Kings have a clear advantage. They have 4 batsmen in 100-club as compared to just 2 by Pune Warriors. Even the bowling was better than Pune’s extremely successful bowling so far. After seeing the last match, the back-t0-back match can be termed as bowling (PWI) vs bowling (CSK) contest. But, now Yuvraj must be ready for a better fight and a fitting reply to the last match defeat and with some support from Ryder, Uthappa, Manhas and bowlers he should take Pune Warriors home to another glorious victory.
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