Pune Warriors v Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2012, Pune April 7, 2012

Pune Warriors make home debut

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Match facts

Sunday, April 8, Pune
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big Picture

After spending a season playing at their surrogate home ground in Navi Mumbai, Pune Warriors are back where they ought to be - in Pune. Here, they will take on Kings XI Punjab at the new Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium. The ground is 28 kms away from the city centre, but optimists among the fans would say that's 100 kms closer than the DY Patil Stadium. Fresh from their 28-run heist against their more fancied neighbours, Mumbai Indians, Warriors will look to build some momentum against a Kings XI side that was razed by Ajinkya Rahane and Kevin Cooper in Jaipur on Friday.

In that game, Adam Gilchrist's side lacked bite in their bowling. With his reduced pace, Praveen Kumar has been easier to score off all season, and on the flatter pitches of the IPL his form is particularly worrisome. Kings XI's follow-up bowlers lacked control and variety, and that makes a case for the inclusion of an experienced Twenty20 player like Azhar Mahmood.

Warriors will be still be wary though, after their batting appeared light in their last match. In-form Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal could make his IPL debut. Their bowling attack, with its variety, wouldn't solicit a change.

Predict the playing XIs for this match. Play ESPNcricinfo Team Selector.

Players to watch

Robin Uthappa scored an uncharacteristically sedate 36 in Mumbai but, more importantly, controlled the slide with a crucial partnership in the middle overs. A strong hitter, Uthappa would fancy his chances against a less than commanding Kings XI bowling attack.

Twenty-year-old Mandeep Singh was the top-scorer for Kings XI in their last outing. In a batting order dominated by the likes of Gilchrist, Shaun Marsh and David Hussey, Mandeep has the talent to become the local mainstay.

2011 head-to-head

Warriors overwhelmed Kings XI twice in an otherwise sorry campaign last year. The bowlers led them to a seven-wicket win in Navi Mumbai and repeated the performance in Mohali, ensuring a five-wicket victory.

Stats and trivia

  • Shaun Marsh averages 50.96 for Kings XI, the highest in IPL history.
  • Rahul Sharma leads Warriors bowling charts with 17 wickets at an average of 17. Neat.

Quotes

"There is a problem with the white ball on the flat subcontinent wickets. [For the] first few overs it's manageable, but then both the new balls are an advantage to the batsmen."
Praveen Kumar

"We have been strictly instructed by Preity [Zinta, Kings XI's owner] to go slow on serving the players any oily food, even if the cravings are intense."
A Kings XI's chef reveals the strategy to avoiding butter-fingered players

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kaderpcb on April 8, 2012, 14:43 GMT

    look this is pune team, they did not take tamim, ok this is thier decision we should respect it, compare the parformance between samuel and tamim in bpl , you will get the idea, who is better. I think it is better for tamim to come back from pune. Ok Tamim do not worry , get ready for the future against India, Show them what you are . bye bye IPL. I am not interested in pune nor more. I hope Pune will lost today

  • SaM_BrO on April 8, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    Again, i'm confused. dont they usually pick the in-form players against the under-performing ones? oh I see, they dont trust the temperment of tamim. It's an awesome decision. I'm quite sure that the out-of-form opener with unorthodox batting technique will make the pigs fly this today!

  • dummy4fb on April 8, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    why not azhar mahmod is playing punjab????????

  • LEOFURQAN86 on April 8, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    Gilly should pick up Azhar Mehmood if u want to win the games in future beacuase in these condition Azhar is the best option for KXI gilly should think About it

  • dummy4fb on April 8, 2012, 14:06 GMT

    Everybody z talking abt tamim!!!! Hw abt Luke wright he ll b grt asset for team

  • dummy4fb on April 8, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    Kapil, Staurt Broad is injured ..

  • dummy4fb on April 8, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    Tamim should be included in playing XI"

  • dummy4fb on April 8, 2012, 13:10 GMT

    It was a big shame on KKR that they did not pick Shakib in their first match when he had been in his best form with bat and bowl while Pune Warriors doing the same with Tamim despite seeing him make 5 consecutive half centuries right from the start of Asian Cup through to the practice match the day before Pune had to digest a heavy defeat without Tamim in their first match. So it's quite shame, funny and awkward that they did not play a player who had been in such a steady and superb form. Cricket lovers around the globe have been openly commenting that their eliminations in the final 11 were just as a result of both being Bangladeshis. If this is true, can such kind of politics or discrimination be tolerable in a gentlemen's game like cricket? It's just a dirty politics. The selectors should not only be ashamed but also questioned about this unhealthy act that demoralised millions of cricket lovers throughout the world.

  • dummy4fb on April 8, 2012, 12:45 GMT

    What a shame as Being a Bangladesh Supporter to see Shakib is being ignored in KKR team all day long. Hope Tamim at least Will have a debut game today. Best of Luck!

  • dummy4fb on April 8, 2012, 12:43 GMT

    how much does gayle average 4 bangalore?

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