Gujarat Lions will be up against two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders in Rajkot to begin their IPL 2017 campaignA
IPL 10 has always been the talk of the town due to the injuries that have led a lot of players being out of the tournament for first few weeks of the season or completely out for the season.After The defending champions Sunriseras Hyderabad winning it again against Royal Challengeras Bangalore and at the Maharashtra derby Smithas lastA two sixes along with great innings helping Pune Supergiants to bag points at the start of the season , the action shifts to the lions ready to fight against the knights in shinning armour !
Lions will kickstart their season without Ravindra Jadeja, who has been in imperious form recently. Jadeja had an unflattering return of eight wickets from 40.1 overs in the IPL last year. But his form during India’s home season still makes him an integral member of the side. Jadeja bagged 71 wickets in 13 home Tests – the third-highest ever in a season – and scored 556 runs.However, he will miss the first couple of weeks, having been advised a rest by the BCCI medical staff. Bravo’s hamstring injury, sustained in the BBL last year, will keep him out for the first few matches.IPL’s first recruit from UAE, Chirag Suri, is likely to be available throughout, including Lions’ first two fixtures, against Kolkata Knight Riders. Dinesh Karthik, with a whooping season on his back, is someone to look forward to.Lions let go of eight players, but the core group largely remained intact. Injured Dale Steyn was the only overseas talent they released.Lions made concerted investments in experienced IPL campaigners like Munaf Patel and Manpreet Gony, apart from fresh recruits Nathu Singh and Basil Thampi – the Kerala quick who has a reputation of hitting 140 kph.They also retained left-arm wristspinner Shivil Kaushik, who had a stint with Hull County Cricket Club in England following the IPL last year.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS-
If you talk about one of the most consistent performers and balanced teams out of all this 10 seasons of the league. Andre Russell, who is currently serving out a one-year ban for a doping-code violation, will leave KKR dented. Although new recruit Rovman Powell, a vital cog in Jamaica Tallawah’s title-win in the Caribbean Premier League, is portrayed as Russell’s replacement, the big-hitting rookie will know he has big shoes to fill. New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme replace Russell a few days back. KKR’s strength this time lies in the balance of the team. With the likes of England allrounder Chris Woakes and Kiwi pacer Trent Boult being roped in, and a good mix of domestic batsmen in Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey and vice-captain Suryakumar Kumar, the men in purple are expected to do well. In Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, currently the world’s best allrounder across all formats, and spinners Sunil Narine and chinaman Kuldeep Yadav they have the arsenal to make the most of slow and low wickets especially at home. Shakib though Shakib’s will him miss the opening match due to national team commitments in Sri Lanka. The pace battery with in-form India pacer Umesh Yadav, Boult, Woakes and Powell among others, also looks better than previous seasons. Though Umesh gonna miss his first few matches due to his injuries !
Head to Head:
Matches : 2
GL : 2A KKR -0
The last time these two teams met, both the matches were won by the lions, one a 5wicket victory and another a 6 wickets! In the first match, on 8th May at Eden Gardens, GL won it in the power plays instead of KKR’s Shakib-Al-Hassan and Pathan putting on a 100-run partnership glitzzy show. Kumar was splendid, taking two wickets and being the MOM. The second match on may 19th at Kanpur which was a low scoring game, 124 runs on board as Dwayne smith got 4 wickets and was the star of the match and Raina’s 50 runs, helped Lions to cahse the low score!
PREDICTED LINEUPS :
GUJARAT LIONS-Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, Aaron Finch, Suresh Raina (capt), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Ishan Kishan, James Faulkner, Praveen Kumar, Shadab Jakati, Dhawal Kulkarni, Shivil Kaushik
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS-Gautam Gambhir (capt), Robin Uthappa (wk),A Manish Pandey,A Chris Lynn/Colin de Grandhomme,A Chris Woakes, Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav,A Kuldeep Yadav,A Sunil Narine,A Ankit Rajpoot, Trent Boult