Preview: Pune Warriors v Chennai Super Kings

April 27, 2011

I remember as if it was only yesterday that these two teams played each other. In fact, at the time of writing this preview, it was only yesterday that the two teams played each other at Chennai, with the hosts cruising to a 25 run victory.

Pune Warriors

The Pune Warriors made a good start to their IPL campaign with a thumping win against Kings XI Punjab, and followed that up with another win against fellow newcomers, Kochi Tuskers Kerala. They have unfortunately tailed off since then, losing 3 games on the trot to leave them in the bottom half of then table.

Pune have no shortage of firepower in their batting line up and the return of Manish Pandey has bolstered the already power packed department. However, the form of their middle order seems a bit of a concern, but it will take only one innings to set things straight. The odds are not stacked against one of them returning to form, especially considering the number of main players their batting line up boasts of.

Their bowling has been the most economical of all the teams so far; they did well to restrict Chennai to a sub par 142 in the last game. Alphonso Thomas has been leading from the front, getting wickets and maintaining a tight lid on the scoring. The introduction of Jerome Taylor and Nathan McCullum has added more variety into an already decent attack.

Chennai Super Kings

Chennai did well to return to winning ways after losing 2 consecutive games and having won their home leg against the IPL debutants MS Dhoni and his men will be fancying doing the double over the warriors.

Chennai’s main strength this IPL has been their batting: Murali Vijay and Michael Hussey have proved to be a dependable, if not explosive, opening pair; but then again who needs an explosive pair if you have the likes of Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni and Albie Morkel to follow. Hussey proved why he is such a key member of the Yellow brigade by hitting a patient half century that was vital in their win against Pune. The Australian however may have to play without his usual partner, as Vijay is nursing a hamstring injury. Raina has been struggling to hit good form, but the dashing left-hander just needs a couple of good hits to set the ball rolling.

The return of Doug Bollinger has transformed the Chennai attack from a decent one to a fearful one. Morkel and R Ashwin’s performance in the last game would’ve been a welcome sight for the Super Kings.

Players to watch out for

Yuvraj Singh: The star of India’s triumph in the World Cup was visibly disappointed at not having finished of the game for Pune in their last encounter. He will be doubly motivated to set things straight.

Suresh Raina: Raina will be egging to hit form that made him so dangerous in the first 3 editions. The left hander’s due for a big one.

Quotes:

Yuvraj Singh : I should also take a lot of blame for not being able to finish the match. This has happened for the third time now that I have started off well but couldn’t finish off the match,

Stephen Fleming : Ashwin as always been a match-winner for us. He is always a confident bowler and transforms himself well as he takes wickets. He is working hard on improving his strengths.

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