Match Preview: Resurgent Punjab Warriors take on UP Wizards
Venue : Surjit Singh Stadium, Jalandhar (Capacity – 7000)
Broadcaster: Star Sports (Hindi Commentary), Star Cricket (English Commentary)
Date: 22 January, 2013
Time : 8:00 PM (IST)
Getting back up after losing three games in a row is a tough task, but hats off to Jaypee Punjab Warriors who displayed their true character and defeated Mumbai Magicians 4-2 in a hard fought game at MHA stadium in Mumbai. Punjab Warriors will be seeking their first home win when they face table toppers Uttar Pradesh Wizards tomorrow in Hockey India League who are yet to lose a game in the tournament.
Punjab Warriors were a frustrated lot because of their lack of goals in the tournament but Monday’s game gave them a sigh of relief as four of their players, including Captain Jamie Dwyer, entered the scoring chart. The performance against Mumbai should give them confidence to face Wizards, who are riding high after winning twice and drawing once.
Uttar Pradesh Wizards, who are yet to lose a game in the tournament, are a well drilled defensive unit led by Raghunath. They will give a tough test to Punjab Warriors who are known for their attack. Wizards, despite doing well in the defence, still have a problem with their PC conversions, with Raghunath unable to convert the penalty corners won by them. Raghunath might not be doing well at the moment but he is still a big threat to Punjab Warriors who are currently facing defensive problems of their own.
With the likes of Teun de Nooijer, Eddie Ockenden, David Alegre along with Tushar Khandekar in the attack, UP Wizards are currently the favourites to win the game after beating Punjab Warriors 2-1 in their last meeting.
Players to watch out for:
Punjab Warriors – Jamie Dwyer - Punjab Warriors will be banking on the expertise of captain Jamie Dwyer who played a big part in victory against Mumbai Warriors. The 32 year old has been carrying Punjab team on his shoulders and it’s time for experienced Indian campaigners like Shivendra Singh and SV Sunil to stand and deliver. At the back, Punjab needs to give some cover to Jaap Stockmann who has been facing problems in the goal due to a leaky defence.
Uttar Pradesh Wizards – Teun de Nooijer - For UP Wizards, Teun de Nooijer will be the key player as he will aim to exploit the weak defence of Punjab Warriors. With experienced campaigners like Tushar Khandekar and Raghunath in the side with him, Teun is likely to create havoc to the Punjab Warriors’ defence.
Mumbai - Ric Charlesworth (Australia)
Delhi - AK Bansal (India)
Tomorrow’s game is expected to be an absolute cracker with both teams going for free scoring. It’ll be interesting to see which team breaks the scoring charts to get the victory.