Pune: After suffering a comprehensive defeat against Delhi Daredevils in their previous match, Pune Warriors would look to bounce back in the tournament when they take on bottom-placed Deccan Chargers in their Indian Premier League match on Thursday.
The Warriors lost to Daredevils by eight wickets with four overs to spare on Tuesday but they start as clear favourites against the winless Chargers on Thursday.
The Sourav Ganguly-led side have done reasonably well in the tournament so far having won four out of eight matches and occupying the fourth spot at the league table. But their inconsistency has been a reason of concern as they have not been able to build a winning momentum.
After defeating table-toppers Daredevils at their own backyard, the Warriors lost the very next game here against the same opponents as they failed to put up a big total against a team which has a strong batting line-up. Warriors bowlers simply did not know how to bowl at a marauding Virender Sehwag who single-handedly won the match.
The Warriors would need Jesse Ryder and Robin Uthappa, who made 60 against Daredevils, to give them a good start on Thursday, which could be capitalised later on by the likes of Ganguly and Steven Smith.
Experienced duo of paceman Ashish Nehra and spinner Murali Kartik would have to take the responsibility against the desperate Deccan Chargers.
Having lost all their five earlier matches, Deccan managed to get a point in their sixth game against Kolkata Knight Riders after the match was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to heavy rains last night.
They would be desperately looking to register their first win in the current tournament. But for that they would have to play out of their skins.
The Chargers are well aware that they have a tough task in their remaining 10 games to go beyond the league stage and the former IPL champions would be keen to click against the Warriors on Thursday.
They have failed in virtually all departments of the game with their butter-fingered fielders being the reason of their last few losses.
Defending a paltry 127, the Chargers almost had the match in their hands in their last game against Kolkata till the penultimate over when Anand Rajan dropped Debabrata Das and that enabled KKR to score a last over victory.
It would be important for the openers -- skipper Kumar Sangakkara and in-form Shikhar Dhawan -- to lay a solid platform for a big total if Chargers are to win on Thursday.
Dhawan scored a valuable half-century in the last game against Kolkata and the team would expect him to continue his good work on Thursday as well.
The Chargers would also be hoping that both Parthiv Patel and Jean-Paul Duminy, who have shone with the bat in a few games, would fire in unison to see the team cross the line this time around.
However, the Chargers' continuous bowling failure has been a major cause of worry and this time there is little option but to rectify the problem.
Despite South African pacer Dale Steyn's good show, his spells are yet to produce desired result for the team as none of the bowlers at the other end could complement him.
They can only hope that their bowling department consisting of leg-spinner Amit Mishra, Australian all-rounder Dan Christian, slow left-armer Ankit Sharma, besides Steyn, get their act together before its too late.
The Teams (from):
Pune Warriors: Sourav Ganguly (Capt), Ashok Dinda, Callum Ferguson, Raiphi Gomez, Harpreet Singh, Dheeraj Jadhav, Kamran Khan, Murali Kartik, Harshad Khadiwale, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Nathan McCullum, Anustup Majumdar, Mithun Manhas, Angelo Mathews, Ashish Nehra, Manish Pandey, Jesse Ryder, Marlon Samuels, Rahul Sharma, Steven Smith, Tamim Iqbal, Alfonso Thomas, Robin Uthappa, Shrikant Wagh, Luke Wright.
Deccan Chargers: Kumar Sangakkara (Capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Parthiv Patel (wk), Cameron White, Jean-Paul Duminy, Ishank Jaggi, Ankit Sharma, Dale Steyn, Amit Mishra, Anand Rajan, Veer Pratap Singh, Chris Lynn, Daniel Christian, Daniel Harris, Juan Theron, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Ahmed Quadri, Akash Bhandari, Akshat Reddy, Arjun Yadav, Ashish Reddy, Atchuta Rao, Bharat Chipli, Biplab Samantray, Dwaraka Ravi Teja, Manpreet Gony, Sneha Kishore, Sunny Sohal, Tanmay Mishra, Tanmay Srivastava, Taduri Prakash Sudhindra.