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Toss could be crucial

Toss could be crucial
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Sunrisers all set for IPL debut Neelesh K Joshi Hyderabad: The Sunrisers Hyderabad and Pune Warriors contest is likely to be a close one if not...

Sunrisers all set for IPL debut

Neelesh K Joshi Hyderabad: The Sunrisers Hyderabad and Pune Warriors contest is likely to be a close one if not for anything else at least because neither has anything to lose but everything that is there to win.A Essentially a match between teams that are symmetrically similar in standings, an element of fight among equals is likely to be the essence when the two teams open their IPL VI campaigns at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium here on Friday.

In a way it a blessing in disguise for both teams that are out to improve their standing and also stature in the premier T20 extravaganza.A They are fortunate because they can warm up with some decent performance against each other and ascertain their individual strengths and weaknesses. A good showing will help boost their morale when they take on the main contenders as the Championship progresses.

The host team will miss the services of their trump card and the man in form, the destructive Shikar Dhawan, who will be out of action for most of the earlier engagements. He is still recovering from the hand injury that he incurred during the Australian Test series and that too immediately after entering the record books for the fastest century by a debutant.

However, the team is not lacking on any front considering that seasoned campaigner and shrewd tactician Kumar Sangakkara will be spearheading the campaign. He along with compatriot Thisara Perera, Parthiv Patel and Cameron White will constitute depth that is quite envious.

And, of course, there is the meanest and presently the world's finest fast bowler, Dale Steyn to tear into the most formidable batting line-ups with his craft. He will be assisted by Ishant Sharma, a proven material in all forms of the game while Amit Mishra and Nathan McCullum can be worthy bowlers for the middle overs.

If Sunrisers has been hit by the absence of Dhawan and J P Duminy then Pune Warriors India has been confronted with its own problems and of a bigger magnitude.A Taken as a larger picture their woes are more severe as Michael Clarke will not be around for any part of the sixth season.

The good thing about the team is that new skipper, Angelo Mathews(who insists it is a fresh season and of renewed hope), Ross Taylor and cancer survivor Yuvraj Singh together with mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis can make a potent combination and give any rival a run for their money.

On the face of it, there will a toss up between the two teams. The stadium has been notorious for being a jinxed one for the home team, despite India's success against Australia.A Perhaps, that could give a psychological edge to the Warriors but then with Sunrisers just about commencing their adventure they begin with the marginal edge, particularly with Steyn and White ready for a fling.

The fact remains that in terms of depth both are on equal footing. The team batting second will have the advantage, which means that the toss will be crucial.

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