|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
The Preview by Rachna Shetty
April 20, 2013
Match factsSunday, April 21
Big pictureWhen they clash on Sunday night, Kings XI Punjab and Pune Warriors will be looking to shake off their inability to shut out games, and an inconsistency to carry forward a winning momentum, which has placed both teams in the bottom half of the points table. For Kings XI, their batting has been a let-down, with the experienced batsmen failing to shoulder the responsibility of guiding an innings. Their performance can be evidenced from one telling statistic: after five matches, none of their batsmen have scored a half-century. It's a record they will be eager to erase. They will be buoyed by the arrival of Shaun Marsh, possibly Kings XI's most valuable player. In 42 IPL matches for Kings XI, Marsh has scored 1603 runs at an average of 45.80 and a strike-rate of 135.96 and, with his fitness issues behind him, should be an automatic pick for the game, as Kings XI try to get past their batting woes against a good bowling attack.
Pune have been patchy so far, following up a stunning victory against Chennai Super Kings with mediocre batting against Sunrisers Hyderabad. With the chase against Sunrisers under control, the Warriors batsmen, including Angelo Mathews, played some inexplicable shots to find themselves on the losing side and the middle order, in particular, needs to return to sensible cricket and back their top order better. Their next few fixtures are against top-billing teams and a win against Kings XI could help them gain some confidence going ahead.
Players to watchOne of T20 cricket's journeymen, Azhar Mahmood has emerged as the second-highest wicket-taker for Kings XI so far after Praveen Kumar. It's his batting, though, that Kings XI will need if they are to challenge Pune Warriors. He has scored 35 runs in four innings so far.
With his effective swing bowling, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been the leading strike bowler for Warriors, providing breakthroughs at the start of the innings. This season, he has picked up seven wickets at an economy-rate of 6.00 and has also impressed with his tactical nous while opening the bowling.
Stats and trivia
Quotes"There are still plenty of matches to go this season. So, everyone in the team has to back each other moving ahead and pray for the best."
|Comments have now been closed for this article
The BCCI set up a three-man committee to tackle the problem of chucking at age-group and domestic cricket, and it has produced significant results in five years
The board's latest standoff with its players has had embarrassing consequences internationally, so any resolution now needs to be approached thoughtfully
What Australia have not done since returning a fractured unit from India is head back to Asia to play an Asian team. Two of their major weaknesses - handling spin and reverse swing - will be tested in the UAE by Pakistan
Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala
The WICB statement should cool down emotions and allow all parties involved to take the next step forward
Players demanding that home pitches should be prepared to favour them don't realise it's a retaliatory business
ESPNcricinfo runs the rule over the preparation of all 16 Australia players ahead of the first Test, which starts in Dubai on Wednesday