Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 20 April 2013 - 07:06pm IST
Preview : Match 29 – KXIP vs PWI
Battle of equals promises exciting fare
Adam Gilchrist’s Kings XI Punjab host Pune Warriors India in Match 29 of Pepsi IPL 2013.
Both teams have several things in common. Both teams have so far won two matches. Both teams have gone past the 150-run mark only once so far this season. Both teams lost their most recent matches to the Sunrisers Hyderabad. And both teams definitely have major worries in the batting department.
Aaron Finch is the only PWI batsman to score a half-century this season while no KXIP batsman has breached the 50-run mark so far. For them to start competing better, the batsmen will need to start piling runs on the board and give the bowlers a chance.
Sunday, April 21, 2013, 8 p.m
Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
KXIP’s problems start at the top; their skipper Adam Gilchrist has so far managed only 57 runs in five innings. In a team which lacks too many other match-winners, KXIP need many more runs from their skipper. David Hussey has been the only consistent performer for KXIP so far this season and the team will expect him to continue contributing runs. The likes of Mandeep Singh and Manan Vohra have impressed with brief cameos, but they need to quickly learn the knack of converting good starts into big scores.
The common factor in PWI’s two victories so far this season has been the foundation laid by their openers. The ploy of Finch going after the bowlers and Robin Uthappa dropping anchor has worked perfectly for the team. If they can provide their team with starts on a consistent basis, the middle order comprising the dangerous Yuvraj Singh and Steve Smith can flourish towards the end.
On the bowling front keep an eye on the two Kumar’s – Praveen and Bhuvneshwar. Both bowlers have been miserly and seem to have the knack of picking up wickets in the first over. Then there’s the battle between the two leg-spinners – Rahul Sharma and Piyush Chawla.
Pune Warriors India held their own in the first three meetings with Kings XI Punjab. However, since then KXIP have come back strongly to win the last two matches.
Kings XI Punjab opened their Pepsi IPL 2013 campaign against PWI at Pune. On that occasion, KXIP restricted the hosts to 99 for 9 and then chased down the runs in 12.2 overs, registering a convincing 8-wicket win.
KXIP’s David Hussey is 55 runs short of 5000 runs in Twenty20 cricket. Only Brad Hodge & Chris Gayle have scored more than him in the 20-over format.
Both teams will next be seen in action on April 23. While Kings XI Punjab head to the National capital to take on the Delhi Daredevils, Pune Warriors India fly out to the IT capital of India (Bengaluru) to take on Royal Challengers Bangalore.