IPL 9 Match 38 Preview: Gujarat Lions look to get back to winning ways

IPL 9 Match 38 Preview: Gujarat Lions look to get back to winning ways

Gujarat Lions IPL 9
New Delhi: Gujarat Lions celebrate fall of a wicket during an IPL match. (Photo Source: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Two of the top teams of this season of the IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders will lock horns with the Gujarat Lions at Kolkata. While the Knight Riders are riding high on confidence with a close win over the Kings XI Punjab in their last game, the Lions are keen getting back to winnings ways after having lost their last 3 matches.

A win for either of the team would take them an inch closer to the playoffs. Both teams need two more wins to make it to 16 points in the points table, which would potentially guarantee them a place in the playoffs unless the net run rate comes into the picture. Kolkata Knight Riders have won 6 of their 9 matches so far while the Gujarat Lions have played an extra game and won the same number of matches. Looking at the current form of the two teams, the Kolkata Knight Riders look like the favorites for the game. The home advantage will definitely work in their favor.

Gujarat Lions:

The Gujarat Lions think tank is currently trying to decipher where the trick has gone wrong for them in the last few games. The opening pair of Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith has failed in the last couple of matches and that hasn’t helped the cause of Gujarat Lions. The thus far untested middle-order was tested and definitely not lived up to the mark. Barring Dinesh Karthik in the middle-order, no other batsman has shown aggressive intent. A big knock from skipper Suresh Raina, who has not looked his natural self is due. Aaron Finch had a bit of niggle in the last match against SRH and his fitness would be a key too. James Faulkner might still not make it to the squad, unless Finch is ruled out, as the four overseas look settled.

Shivil Kaushik has been a bit of revelation for the Lions and he looks set in the spin department. Pacers Dhawal Kulkarni and Praveen Kumar have been impactful too. The bottomline for the Lions is that the batsmen need to click.

Kolkata Knight Riders:

The Kolkata Knight Riders have been adopting the ‘horses for courses’ strategy in most of the matches so far. They have shuffled their overseas players well. They are most likely to retain the same playing eleven in the match against Lions. Andre Russell is having a great run and often gets wickets for the Knights in the starting overs. Umesh Yadav has been on the expensive side in the last few matches but has had a decent IPL so far.

The spin remains to be the forte for KKR and since Knight Riders will be playing at Eden Gardens, where spinners have a greater say, Shakib Al Hasan will make it to the XI. Chris Lynn will miss out again.

Probable XI-

Gujarat Lions:

Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, Aaron Finch, Suresh Raina (c), Dinesh Karthik, Dwayne Bravo, Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Praveen Kumar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Shivil Kaushik.
Kolkata Knight Riders:

Gautam Gambhir (c), Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Surya Yadav, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav, Brad Hogg.

StAttack:

1. KKR bowlers Andre Russell (13.38) and Umesh Yadav (14.4) have the best strike rate among all bowlers this season with 10 overs or more.

2. Gautam Gambhir has hit the most number of fours this season – 43.

3. Dhawal Kulkarni has the second best economy rate this season after Mustafizur Rahman.