Pune Warriors India (PWI) placed eighth on the points table will host the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) who are at fifth spot in the 57th match of the Indian Premier League at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium today. The match would have lot at stake for RCB because for PWI they are already out of the play-offs and if they manage to win today it would put some serious dent to Bangalore’s chances of qualifying for the play-offs.
So Bangalore would be wary of that fact and would require to win the match if they want to keep their hopes of making it to the top four and loss here means it would become very difficult for them considering the fierce competition at the top of the table.
Ideally Bangalore looks an outright favorite to win the match and they are also coming into the tie after a spectacular win in their last game against the Deccan Chargers. But then going by how the tournament has shaped up this year it is very hard to pick a winner and on a given day anything can happen.
Both the teams have very good players in their arsenal and here are some of them who would be in all likelihood determine the course of the match:
Pune Warriors India:
Angelo Mathews: This Sri Lankan player is considered as one of the best all-rounder of the modern day cricket. He is very effective in the middle overs and is a proven finisher. Mathews is equally effective with the ball in his hand and, Warriors will be hoping that this player can come good in the match.
Steven Smith: He has been the best batsman for Pune Warriors and has won them couple of games. Smith could not play well in his last match and would be itching to prove a point. He has done well in almost all the matches and his strike rate is also very high.
Murali Kartik: A lot depends on this left-armer as the number one spinner for Pune Warriors; Rahul Sharma is having a torrid season and has lost his place in the team. Kartik has been bowling well and has been among the wickets as well.
Royal Challengers Bangalore:
Chris Gayle: He is the current holder of the Orange Cap and is looking in devastating form. He has won matches single handedly for RCB and he can murder any bowling attack up the innings. Ganguly would be wary of that and would require to counter him if they want to produce the desirable results.
AB de Villiers: He has been one of the best batsmen for RCB this season. RCB has done well whenever he has been on the crease for a substantial time. He is one of the best finishers in the world and a lot on depends on him. He helped Bangalore pull a stunner in their match against Deccan Chargers and lot would be expected from him.
Muttiah Muralidharan: He is bowling with the same vigor and dedication like he always used to. He is taking wickets as well as bowling economically. The way he bowls to Ganguly will be a treat to watch.
Zaheer Khan: He has been bowling very economically and is the bowling spearhead for RCB. Zaheer will be looking to take some early wickets in his spell. He has a very good track record against Ganguly and would look to capitalize on that early on in the innings.
By Samikshan Dutta Choudhury
Indian Sports News