The Gujarat Lions will face the Kings XI Punjab in Match 47 of the IPL today at the IS Bindra Stadium at Mohali today. The two points at stake are more crucial for the home team, as they look to qualify for the playoffs. Punjab have 10 points, and four games to go, and if they win all four of their remaining matches (which includes this one), they will make it to the playoffs. On the other hand, losing one will mean their chances will depend on other results going their way. The Gujarat Lions, though, have nothing of the sort to worry about as they have six points from 11 games and are out of contention for a playoffs spot. They have lost their last three matches in a row, which included a tie against the Mumbai Indians, where the Gujarat Side lost in the Superover when they could not chase a target of 12 runs in an over (they finished with 6/0).
Gujarat’s batting has been a source of strength for them throughout the tournament, with skipper Raina and Dinesh Karthick providing firepower at the top, and the likes of Ishan Kishan, Aaron Finch and Dwayne Smith contributing healthily in the lower order. What has failed them is their bowling, and the pace battery including Basil Thampi and Pradeep Sangwan need to comeback strongly. The Lions would also look to introduce Ravindra Jadeja after the powerplay overs for breakthroughs and stemming the run flow. The bowlers will look to correct mistakes after they failed to defend a score of 208 against the Delhi Daredevils, with Rishabh Pant scoring a fantastic 43-ball 97 runs that helped the Delhi side chase the total with seven wickets to go.
For Punjab, the onus will be on Hashim Amla and Shaun Marsh to fire with the bat, which they have done well undoubtedly all season now. There will also be pressure on skipper Maxwell, who can destroy bowling attacks on his day, but has so far not fared well in the middle with a little upwards of 200 runs from 10 games. On the bowling front, pacer Sandeep Sharma’s brilliant three-wicket haul blew away RCB’s top-order to set up the win for Punjab last night and he is their best bowler. Seamers Varun Aaron and Mohit Sharma have the ability to do a good job, while spinner Axar Patel has proved himself with 13 wickets so far in the season.
Although Punjab are undoubtedly the better team tonight, the pressure will be squarely on them and it might play to the Lions’ advantage as they have little to lose, and they will look for some redemption with a parting win. The Lions though have also suffered a body blow losing their opener Brendon McCullum, who will miss the remaining matches after suffering a hamstring strain. It will be an interesting contest between the bat and the ball, and teams like Hyderabad and Kolkata will be watching closely, as Punjab attempt to break into the top four with a third consecutive win.
07 May 2017, 2000 Hrs IST
IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali
Head to Head
Overall: Matches played – 3, Kings XI Punjab Won – 2, Gujarat Lions Won – 1.
Kings XI Punjab:
Glenn Maxwell (C), David Miller, Manan Vohra, Hashim Amla, Shaun Marsh, Darren Sammy, Wriddhiman Saha, Nikhil Naik, Ishant Sharma, Armaan Jaffer, Martin Guptill, Eoin Morgan, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Arman Jaffer, Anureet Singh, Mohit Sharma, KC Cariappa, Pradeep Sahu, Swapnil Singh, T Natrajan, Matt Henry, Varun Aaron, Axar Patel, Marcus Stoinis, Gurkeerat Mann, Rahul Tewatia.
Gujarat Lions Squad:
Suresh Raina (C), Akshadeep Nath, Basil Thampi, Shubham Agarwal, Dwayne Smith, Chirag Suri, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Manpreet Gony, Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Shadab Jakati, Dinesh Karthik, Dhaval Kulkarni, Praveen Kumar, Brandon McCullum, Pradeep Sangwan, Jason Roy, Jaydev Shah, Shelly Shaurya, Nathusingh, Tejas Baroka and Andrew Tye.
- The Gujarat Lions captain Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik will be the players to watch out for, as both of them performed magnificently against the Daredevils with a massive 133-run partnership. A good first innings score by the Lions might out Punjab on the backfoot.
- KXIP’s Axar Patel is one three all-rounders to score more than 150 runs and take more than 10 wickets in VIVO IPL 2017. A lot will ride on his performance tonight for the Kings XI Punjab.
- We predict a Kings XI win tonight but the Lions have it in them to take on the Punjab side, and a fightback may be on the cards, especially as the Lions have little to lose now.