Pune: What looked to be the two weakest IPL teams after their standings in the last season - bottom and second from bottom - Pune Warriors and Sunrisers Hyderabad clash at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in game one of Tuesday's double-header seeking to outdo the each other. Pune are coming off an upset win over two-time IPL winners Chennai Super Kings while Hyderabad's last match was a huge defeat to current champions Kolkata Knight Riders.
Pune's win on Sunday owed to two clutch innings from two of their Australian imports, opener Aaron Finch and allrounder Steven Smith. Finch collected his second half-century in three matches to help drive Pune's best opening stand across three seasons while Smith, in his first appearance in IPL 6, larruped an unbeaten 39 off 16 balls and then held three outfield catches. For a side lacking firepower, getting more out of Finch and Smith is imperative. Thus, batting Smith higher up the order is the way forward. Finch has a golden duck sandwiched between match-winning scores of 64 and 67 so Pune will hope that the trend does not continue.
Back at home, Pune will be led by Angelo Mathews who could not play in Chennai due to the ban on Sri Lankans in the state of Tamil Nadu. So the tough question is: who sits out? Finch and Ross Taylor are first-choice picks despite the latter struggling with the bat, while Smith's Man-of-the-Match performance means he cannot be ignored.
04:07 PM, Apr 16, 2013