Match: Andhra vs Punjab, Vijay Hazare Trophy (AP vs PUN)
Date: February 24, 2021
Venue: Emerald High School Ground, Indore
The Vijay Hazare Trophy will see Andhra take on Bihar in a Round 3 Elite Group B encounter on Wednesday. Punjab, despite a strong side, are yet to get a win in their campaign this year thus far, and will face a tough task when they take on Andhra, who will enter the game on the back of two successive wins.
Punjab scored a formidable 288 in their opener against Tamil Nadu, with Gurkeerat Singh smashing a fine unbeaten 139 in just 121 balls, but their bowlers failed to raise their game as Tamil Nadu won by 6 wickets. In their next match, Punjab failed to chase down 217, losing to Jharkhand by 2 runs eventually.
Andhra, on the other hand, chased down a mammoth 332 against Vidarbha in their opening game of the Vijay Hazare Trophy this season, and then restricted Tamil Nadu to just 176 in their next clash, to win by 7 wickets and 20.5 overs to spare.
Weather Update and Pitch Report of AP vs PUN:
The day will see a high of 31 degree Celsius, but the evening will get cooler. There is no prediction of rain, and humidity will be around 20%.
Two games have been played at the Emerald High School Ground in Indore this competition, with both being won by the teams chasing. The pitch has plenty on offer for the batters, and the fast bowlers will hardly have any aid. The team that wins the toss will likely opt to chase.
AP Expected XI and Team News:
The Andhra team will enter the game on the back of two wins, and they have no reason to tinker with their winning combination.
C Stephen: The left arm medium pacer is the leading wicket taker of the Andhra team, with 6 wickets in two games thus far. He has troubled the rivals with his accuracy and nagging lines, and will be a player to watch out for. Overall. Stephen has picked up 27 wickets in 17 List A games, with best figures of 4 for 46.
C Kranthi Kumar, Ashwin Hebbar, Hanuma Vihari(c), Nitish Reddy, Ricky Bhui(w), Karan Shinde, Girinath Reddy, Shoaib Md Khan, Harishankar Reddy, S Ashish, Cheepurapalli Stephen
PUN Expected XI and Team News:
Despite a loss in their last game, Punjab are unlikely to make any changes in their playing XI for the clash against Andhra.
Siddharth Kaul: The experienced pacer has been one of the positives in what has been a dismal campaign for Punjab thus far. He has picked up 5 wickets in two games for the team, with best figures of 3 for 44. Kaul has international experience behind him, and will be eager to dismiss the dangerous Andhra batters upfront.
Abhishek Sharma, Simran Singh, Mandeep Singh(c), Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Sanvir Singh, Anmol Malhotra(w), Arshdeep Singh, Mayank Markande, Siddarth Kaul, Abhinav Sharma, Sandeep Sharma
Match prediction of AP vs PUN:
Punjab are a strong unit, and will be eyeing a win here espite two successive losses. They are a better side than what the results show, at least on paper, and we back them to get their first win of Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021 against Andhra. The Hanuma Vihari-led team, however, are no pushovers either, as they showed in their game against a strong Tamil Nadu side. We can expect a close game, with Punjab edging ahead.
MPL Fantasy XI:
Prabhsimran Singh, Mandeep Singh, Anmolpreet Singh, Hanuma Vihari, Ricky Bhui, Ashwin Hebbar, Gurkeerat Singh, Abhishek Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, C Stephen,Harishankar Reddy
Captain and vice-captain selection:
Ricky Bhui: The batsman has been in excellent form in the season thus far for Andhra, with 153 runs, including an unbeaten 101 in the tournament opener. The experienced player has been a vital cog in the Andhra line-up in the last few seasons, and will be eager to carry forward his fine form.
Gurkeerat Singh: The batsman has an unbeaten 139 to his name this season, though his efforts had gone in vain. He scored 37 in the next clash against JKharkhand, which took his tally to 176 runs this season. Overall, Gurkeerat has scored 3071 List A runs at an average of a little under 48 with the help of 4 hundreds in 79 innings.