Pune Sahara Warriors have had an unfortunate fall in the IPL 4 after a dream start and after two consecutive defeats against the Chennai Super Kings, they will be facing Royal Challengers Bangalore away from home on Friday. Royal Challengers on the other hand have had a string of successes thanks to Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli. Playing at Bangalore, the crowd will be behind them and the odds seem to be in their favour.
Their is not much wrong with Pune in terms of the team balance. They seem to have an appropriate mix of batting and bowling with show-stoppers such as Uthappa and Yuvraj. Yuvraj has been scoring too but he needs to give himself more time on the crease by coming in at number 3. So that he can steal the match away from the opposition like players like Gayle and Sehwag do usually.
The biggest problem that the side seems to be having is morale. Yuvraj has led from the front with his performance but his leadership is not so inspiring given his overtly disappointed and enraged reactions after the game. He needs to carry a cooler shoulder as there will be times the team will struggle inspite of half-decent performances. A lesson to take from his captain MSD maybe!
On the other hand, Daniel Vettori is diametrically opposite. He has lead from the front as well as kept a cool shoulder so as to bring the team back into contention from a situation where a few more losses could have been disastrous. Virat Kohli was instrumental in their last victory and will continue to play a crucial role in the coming games. Chris Gayle and Dilshan will be as dangerous as ever and getting tthem to the paviliion would be top priority in order to have any chance of winning the game for Pune.
In terms of how the table will be effected, the match is a mid way contest. It will resolve which of the two teams is heading northwards. However, Pune are a little more desperate for a win currently given their consecutive losses.
Prediction: Pune Sahara Warriors – this prediction is against all odds. Simply because the tournament needs such a heavyweight team to performs. We do not want Pune to become what KKR was in the first couple of IPL seasons. A whole bunch of stars doing nothing.
PUNE SAHARA WARRIORS vs ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE
Pune : Yuvraj Singh, A.Thomas, Robin Uthappa
Royal Challengers: Daniel Vettori, Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli
2000 hours IST