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Date – 5th April, 2013

Time – 8.00 p.m (IST)

Pune Warriors fans will be hoping for  better season this time around

Pune Warriors fans will be hoping for better season this time around

Sunrisers Hyderabad (previously Deccan Chargers) have had several poor seasons due to the failure of their star players. Kumara Sangakkara had been the only man to have performed on a consistent basis, as the rest of the players were not up to the mark. Last year, they missed Ishant Sharma due to a injury and they lacked a quality pacer.

Sunrisers Hyderabad have new coach in Tom Moody, who has been successful in his stint as coach of Sri Lanka. He has vast experience, and the Sunrisers should make use of his cricketing knowledge and perform well in IPL 6. They have a full strength squad and look to be the stronger team, at least on paper. As captain, Sangakkara has a lot of work to do bring the best out of the young cricketers in the squad. His selection of four overseas players plays a critical role in tomorrow’s match. Pune Warriors haven’t been good against pace bowlers, and therefore, Steyn could be a threat to Pune.

Pune Warriors, on the other hand, are without Sourav Ganguly this season. However, Yuvraj Singh is back into the squad, which would be a great boost for the team. They have a well-balanced squad that is capable of delivering in crunch situations. Another advantage PWI have is that they are not heavily reliant on a single player. They are also without Michael Clarke; therefore, the experienced cricketers in the team have got a significant task in hand. They will require a good innings from Yuvraj and Steve Smith at the top of the order. They also have Robin Uthappa, who could be handy player down the order to score some quick runs. It’s up to skipper Angelo Mathews as to how efficiently he marshals his resources. If the team plays to its potential, then the Warriors can certainly hope for a good season.

The conditions at Hyderabad are hot and the surface is expected to be dry. Therefore, the toss won’t play a very crucial role.

Players to watch

Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj SinghYuvraj Singh looks to be in fine touch and also had a decent international career after his battle with cancer. Pune Warriors missed him a lot in the fifth edition. But now, he has got a significant task at hand to lead Pune Warriors in the batting department. He can be one of the most dangerous players in the world when he is on song.

Ishant SharmaHe had a wonderful series against Australia and his rhythm is back after recovering from a serious back injury. He’s now in good form and would look to continue in the same vein in the IPL as well. He could certainly trouble the Warriors’ batting line-up.

Prediction

The wicket is dry and the conditions are hot. Pune Warriors have a balanced squad but lack key players, which is a bonus for the Sunrisers. If the Sunrisers can exploit the home conditions and play to their strengths, then they certainly have a good season ahead. Expect this to be a tough game with Hyderabad just edging out Pune.