Match 6 of the Pepsi IPL 2013 will give us a first look at Kings XI Punjab. The Mohali franchise, which finished last season sixth in the standings, start their IPL VI campaign with a fixture against the Pune Warriors India.
KXIP, who were semi-finalists in the inaugural season but haven’t finished among the top four teams since, will be looking to make a fresh start this time around. Their opponents, Pune Warriors India, will still be hurting from their 22-run defeat in a small run-chase against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Friday night. Allan Donald’s team will be keen to wipe out that match from their memory and will be aware this match presents them a great chance to get their first points on the board given that they will be playing in the familiar surrounds of their home ground.
Sunday, March 6, 2013, 4 p.m
Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune
Both teams have numerous batsmen with lofty reputations and hence the key to success in this match will be for the batsmen to fire. Pune Warriors India will expect their top order to fare better than they did in the previous match. Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey and Marlon Samuels batted for half the team’s overs but only contributed 44 runs. They will hope for a better contribution from the top order, before the middle order comprising the dangerous Yuvraj Singh and Ross Taylor can flourish towards the end.
Kings XI Punjab will look towards their skipper Adam Gilchrist and the experienced David Hussey to score big. The team will be missing the services of their prolific run-getter Shaun Marsh, who is nursing an injury and is only likely to be available in a couple of weeks time. A lot will also be expected of Indian batsmen; Mandeep Singh and Nitin Saini are known to be dangerous batsmen, and they will be expected to complement the likes of Gilchrist, Hussey and Azhar Mahmood.
Pune Warriors India will have fond memories of playing against Kings XI Punjab for they’ve beaten them in three of the four meetings. In the two meetings last season, both teams won their respective home fixtures; while Pune Warriors India registered a 22-run victory in their backyard after posting 166 on the board, Kings XI Punjab registered a comprehensive 7-wicket victory at Mohali after bowling out the visitors for 115.
Pune Warriors India will be keen to improve on their home record; they’ve only managed to win two of their 8 matches at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune.
David Hussey is among the top three run-getters in the T20 format. Only Brad Hodge and Chris Gayle have scored more than him in the 20-over format.
Kings XI Punjab will head back home to host two-time champions Chennai Super Kings on April 10, while Pune Warriors India will play their second home game of the season when they take on the Rajasthan Royals on April 11.