Gujarat Lions (GL) are to play their fourth match against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at home. GL have had a flawless record in their debut IPL season winning three games on trot. They are yet to lose a game whereas SRH stand in the bottom half of the table. They will be looking for a win desperately having lost two of their three matches. The main reason for GL winning run is opener Aaron Finch’s form having scored three consecutive half-centuries and winning the games single-handedly. GL under Suresh Raina’s captaincy turned out to be unexpected bunch of energetic talents thriving for more and more success. Considering with the way the game has progressed GL, they will hardly make any changes to their side. Here are the likely XI for GL against SRH.
Top Order: GL’s top order is as ferocious as one can be featuring recently retired Brendon McCullum and T20 specialist Aaron Finch and skipper Suresh Raina. Aaron Finch has done exceptionally well scoring three consecutive half-centuries. He is currently on number two in the race of Orange Cup with 191 runs in three games. He has worked wonders for his team leading from the top amidst losing wickets. He showed spectacular amount of patience in their last match against Mumbai Indians (MI). Brendon McCullum has only fired once in the tournament but is expected to come back to his true self soon. Skipper Suresh Raina has failed to convert starts into big innings but has shared valuable partnerships to put the team into a good position. He is one of the most explosive batsmen in the IPL and a lot depends on him if top order fails. Mustafizur Rahman’s toe breaking yorkers against Aaron Finch will be a battle to watch out for.
Middle Order: The middle order lacks sheen and dependability, as they are dependant on top order and lack maturity. Wicket keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik needs to lead the team in the time of collapse. Dwayne Bravo hasn’t been able to play his natural strokes failing to find his timing. Ravindra Jadeja is far from better in batting department and became more of a bowler who can bat. His absence can also fill void in the team, but hopefully he should be back in the team. He has scored 12 off 20 deliveries in this IPL, failing to find a boundary, coming in death overs. James Faulkner is yet to show his colors, one innings does not justify his talent and a lot is expected of him in case batsmen fail to make an impact. His death bowling hasn’t been impressive to an extent it used to be. Dwayne Bravo has been outstanding deceiving the batsman with his face. He almost took a fifer in his first match in this IPL.
Lower Order and Bowling: Their lower order consists of Praveen Kumar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Shadab Jakati and Pravin Tambe. Praveen Kumar is known for his cameos in death overs whereas Dhawal Kulkarni shone for GL playing his first match. GL will be hoping that it doesn’t come down to Shadab Jakati and Pravin Tambe.
GL bowling has been top notch restricting the opposition to achievable targets. James Faulkner has been expensive whereas Dwayne Bravo has been performing in almost every game standing third on the purple cap race. They have a lot of options in bowling featuring Ravindra Jadeja, Pravin Tambe, Shadab Jakati, Dhawal Kulkarni, Praveen Kumar who have been economical bowlers in the tournament and taking wickets at regular intervals weakening opposition’s chance to get to a big total.
Arun Rawal, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a daydreamer, movie buff, and cricket fanatic. He could not play cricket, so did the next best thing, writing for it. He loves to play the flick shot over square leg, and believes Sachin Tendulkar is God.