IPL 2013: Pune Warriors vs Chennai Super Kings – Live IPL Score
Pune Warriors are known to play well against stronger teams but it will be a tough ask against table toppers Chennai Super Kings. MS Dhoni’s team are clearly odds-on favourite against bottom-placed Pune, though taking things for granted can only be detrimental in this format.
Pune know that only too well. In their last match at home, Pune took a win against Sunrisers Hyderabad for granted and lost a match they should have won. It proved to be a costly slip, being followed by successive defeats to Kings XI, RCB — with Chris Gayle hitting a monster knock, the historic, unbeaten 175 in Bangalore last week — and Delhi.
Thankfully, the pitch at the Gahunje stadium is not a belter. But Chennai are used to playing at Chepauk and seem to have their bases covered for these conditions. Still, it will be interesting to observe how Murali Vijay bats in these conditions.
The contrasting fortunes of both teams can be seen through the prism of leadership. Chennai has got obvious advantages, with Dhoni being the leader of the group and calling the shots on significant matters. Pune’s concepts of leadership seem to be in the doldrums.
Their top three batters in terms of average — Smith, Finch and Yuvraj — have scored 521 runs combined in 18 innings, roughly 29 per innings. In contrast, Mike Hussey and Dhoni have contributed a total of 698 runs for Chennai in 16 innings, roughly 43 per innings.
Pune possess good bowling assets in pacemen Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashok Dinda and leggie Rahul Sharma. But their best bowler in terms of average and economy rate is Yuvraj Singh, and these four have taken 31 wickets in 105 combined overs. By contrast, Chennai have three bowlers who have combined to take 35 wickets — Bravo (15), Ashwin and Morris (10 each) — in 91.3 overs. If Chennai pick left-arm paceman Dirk Nannes for the Pune game, it will be interesting to see his effort vis-a-vis the Pune duo of Bhuvnesh and Dinda.
These clearly indicate that Chennai are a far stable team than Pune. Though stability doesn’t guarantee success, it certainly provides less headaches for the team management.
In the last two matches on this ground, Pune’s performance in the powerplay overs was far superior to Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad. Can Chennai score points against Pune in the early phase too? Or will they leave it late, allowing Pune ray of hope?
In the last match between the two teams at Gahunje, Pune’s Marlon Samuels was reported by the umpires for suspect action, which had angered then-captain Sourav Ganguly. Will there be more controversy in this battle of unequals?