Gujarat Lions, fresh from their 4-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders, will take on Kings XI Punjab on Sunday evening.
Gujarat Lions and Kings XI Punjab, after six games in IPL 2017, stand at similar junctures. Two wins from six games have left both teams at the bottom half of the table and in desperate need of some wins. However, not all is lost just yet. Considering both teams have eight more games left, they have a good chance of making a late surge.
Gujarat End KKR’s Run
The Lions pulled the brakes on their three-match losing streak when they defeated KKR on Friday night.ACaptain Suresh Raina returned to form with a match-winning 84 and said his wanted to “restart” their season. Whether Dwayne Bravo, who on Tuesday said he was “a couple of games away” from full fitness.ALions’ beefed-up batting fired in Kolkata; and may have to keep performing above potential given their bowlers have underwhelmed.
Kings XI come into the contest after suffering four consecutive defeats. They started the season with a bang with two consecutive wins but things have gone pear-shaped since then. They are yet to play the perfect game. If their batting has clicked, their bowling has let them down. And if their bowlers do well, their batting has crumbled.
Like Gujarat Lions, Kings XI to need to tighten their bowling. Despite the experience Ishant Sharma, Mohit Sharma and Sandeep Sharma haven’t really done justice to the faith shown in them by the franchise. However, to be fair to them, in the game against Mumbai Indians in Indore; where Rohit Sharma and his men chased down 199 in 15.3 overs,Athere was very little they could have done.
Bowling Woes for Gujarat and Punjab
The problem for both teams is that they are going to be faced with batting friendly conditions again. And no matter how much firepower you have in the batting department; it’s the bowling unit that’s going to win you the game. To add to the woes, toss becomes crucial and the team that wins the toss has a significant advantage.
So as the fans gear up to see the likes of Brendon McCullum, Glenn Maxwell, Suresh Raina, Aaron Finch and Hashim Amla put up a show, the teams will be well aware that it’s the bowlers who will win them the game and not just the big-hitting batsmen.
Head to Head :
Matches – 2
Gujarat Lions – 1, Kings XI Punjab – 1
Gujarat Lions -ABrendon McCullum, Aaron Finch, Suresh Raina (capt); Dinesh Karthik (wk), Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja; James Faulkner, Andrew Tye; Dhawal Kulkarni, Praveen Kumar; Basil Thampi.
Kings XI Punjab -AHashim Amla, Shaun Marsh; Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Glenn Maxwell; Marcus Stoinis, Gurkeerat Singh; Axar Patel, Swapnil Singh; Mohit Sharma; Sandeep Sharma, Ishant Sharma.