Pune eye winning comeback against Punjab
After a disappointing 22-run loss in a low-scoring game against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their campaign opener, Pune Warriors will hope for a better batting performance when they take on Kings XI Punjab in their second Pepsi IPL match in Pune on Sunday.
The Angelo Mathews-led side looked like they would chase down the Hyderabad franchise's paltry 126 runs but lost the plot after a steady start.
India senior player Yuvraj Singh, who has to shoulder batting responsibility in the absence of Australian captain Michael Clarke, will be eager to produce a better show after he scored only two runs against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Friday.
The home side will also rely on Yuvraj's left-arm spin, as the 31-year-old picked up a wicket in his two overs while giving away only eight runs.
Image: Pune Warriors players
Gilchrist's Punjab have never won their opening game
The bowling attack looked impressive with a three-pronged pace attack comprising Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashok Dinda and skipper Angelo Matthews though the team opted to open the attack with spinner Marlon Samuels in Hyderabad on Friday.
On the other hand, Kings XI Punjab will look to start their campaign on a winning note.
Kings XI Punjab have never won their opening game in the previous five editions of the IPL and the Adam Gilchrist-led side will be keen to change that stat this year.
The team will however, will miss Australian batsman Shaun Marsh, who suffered a hamstring injury against England Lions in February. He is expected to join the Kings XI squad in the second half of April.
Image: Punjab's Adam Gilchrist
Mahmood, Mascarenhas bolster Punjab middle-order
Even without Marsh, Kings XI's batting department still looks competitive with Gilchrist, fellow Australians David Hussey and Luke Pomersbach in their ranks. Also the presence of all-rounders Azhar Mahmood and Dimitri Mascarenhas will bolster the middle-order.
Australian Ryan Harris, newly-bought Manpreet Gony and Praveen Kumar form a decent pace attack, while the experienced Piyush Chawla is the other proven bowler in the line-up.
The Teams (From):
Pune Warriors: Angelo Mathews (Captain), Yuvraj Singh, Abhishek Nayar, Robin Uthappa, Ross Taylor, Ajanta Mendis, Manish Pandey, Marlon Samuels, Mitchell Marsh, Mithun Manhas, Parveez Rasool, Rahul Sharma, Ali Murtaza, Anustup Mazumdar, Ashok Dinda, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dheeraj Jadhav, Eklavya Dwivedi, Harpreet Singh, Ishwar Pandey, Kane Richardson, Krishnakant Upadhyay, Luke Wright, Mahesh Rawat, R Gomez, Shrikant Wagh, Steve Smith, T Suman, Tamim Iqbal, Udit Birla, Wayne Parnell.Kings XI Punjab: Adam Gilchrist (Captain), Azhar Mahmood, Luke Pomersbach, David Hussey, David Miller, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Manpreet Gony, Nitin Saini, Parvinder Awana, Paul Valthaty, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar, Rajagopal Sathish, Ryan Harris, Bhargav Bhatt, Bipul Sharma, Gurkeerat Mann Singh, Harmeet Singh Bansal, Manan Vohra, Aniket Choudhary, Mandeep Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Chitnis, Sunny Singh.
Image: Azhar Mahmood