The Hyderabad team has a new owner and they will be hoping to begin their campaign with a win. Over the last few years the Hyderabad ground was not quite lucky for the home team, and they lost just about every game that they played there.
Under the new ownership and a new coach, mentors and support staff, they will be hoping that the home advantage will help them win games there as it does for the other teams on their home turf. Yes, there will be losses along the way but by winning most of the home games, teams stay in contention for a place in the knockout stage of the tournament.
The skipper, Kumar Sangakkara, has been in dazzling form and if Steyn and Ishant can produce lively spells, then they also have the firepower to blast teams out. Shikhar Dhawan’s injury is an unfortunate blow, but he should be back soon and that will be a big boost to the Hyderabad team, for like all teams, they need to get off to a good start to put up a good total and put pressure on the opposition.
The Pune team also has had its share of problems, and with Michael Clarke out of the entire tournament with the back injury that he sustained during the recently concluded series in India, they had to appoint a new skipper too. The Sri Lankan Angelo Mathews pipped Yuvraj Singh to it but that could well be because this is Yuvraj’s first tournament after his return from the serious ailment that he has thankfully recovered from.
He will be the key, for it is not just his batting but also his bowling that turns matches on their heads. If he can strike the kind of form he had in the fourth edition of the IPL, then he could win more games for the Pune team. If there’s an aspect that the Pune team would want to strengthen, it is the bowling, for they do not have the surprise factor that can sway games.
Well begun is half done and both teams will want to start with a win, but as always, the team that takes its catches and saves that extra run will prevail.