Pune Warriors will hope to make their first match at home count when they face Kings XI Punjab,who are playing their first game of the season. Pune,who finished last in 2012,lost their first game against Sunrisers Hyderabad but will hope to bounce back under new skipper Angelo Mathews.
All eyes will be on Adam Gilchirst,who will be playing his first competitive game in almost a year. At 41,it waits to be seen if the wicket-keeper batsman has enough in the tank to last a full IPL season. Last year,his hamstring had given way,and though he had a strike rate of over 120,he could not really shape the fortunes of his side. With Darren Lehmann being roped in as coach for this season,Punjab will be hoping that the Lehmann-Gilchrist combination can repeat their second season’s success.
Lack of tons
None of Punes batsmen have scored a century ever but that may also have something to do with the fact that their home stadium had a pitch that was slow and the bounce was on the low side. However,in Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey,the openers in their first game versus Sunrisers Hyderabad,they have two batsmen who are capable of scoring at a fast rate.
Awana’s Pune connection
Kings XI Punjabs medium pacer Parvinder Awana would like to forget his last Twenty20 outing at the Stadium. On his international debut in December last year,Awana gave away 29 runs in just two overs without taking a wicket versus England. He has since played only one more T20 International. However,to be fair to Awana he was initially picked for the Test team but only got Twenty20 games. His 17 wickets from a dozen games last season,proves that he is a smart Twenty20 bowler.