Gujarat Lions currently pose the biggest threat to the defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad’s chances the making it to the playoffs. The Suresh Raina-led side, who are currently just above wooden spooners Royal Challengers Bangalore in the points table, will start as the dark horses against SRH.
The only drawback can be their form. They have managed only one win in the last five matches. This has been a major reason behind their ouster. A chance to miraculously advance ahead was available to them but flop show in the past two weeks brought their end.
Also, with a very little probability of appearing in the next season (the two-year contract comes to an end this season), the Lions would love to end their IPL journey with a memorable last hurray.
Gujarat Lions and Sunrisers last met during the earliest stages of this season. Lions had just started their campaign with a victory and took on the SRH at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Hyderabad. The match was forgettable for the visitors as they lost without showing any fight.
After being put to bat first by SRH, the Lions were stunned by Rashid Khan’s googlies and could post just 165/7 in their quota of 20 overs. SRH faced no trouble chasing the target as David Warner (76 from 45 balls) and Moises Henriques (52 from 39 balls) slammed entertaining knocks to complete a 9 wicket win.
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Lions have nothing to lose but can make Sunrisers pay heavily for the slightest of mistakes. Suresh Raina and Co have a great reason to be at their best in the upcoming game. Playing against a team that is standing on crossroads, facing a must-win situation removes all sort of pressure and expectations.
They can play freely and put the best foot forward. And, if Lions eventually manage to beat SRH, they bow out with victory in their kitty and also take SRH out of the tournament along with them. Well, a faint hope would still be there in the SRH camp but David Warner would certainly not like to leave his team’s fate in the hands of lady luck.
No changes are anticipated. Raina played with the same team in the previous game and only chose to promote Ishan Kishan up the order as the opener with Dwayne Smith.
Here is the team:
Dwayne Smith, Ishan Kishan, Suresh Raina (C), Dinesh Karthik (WK), Aaron Finch, Ravindra Jadeja, James Faulkner, Dhawal Kulkarni, Pradeep Sangwan, Basil Thampi, Ankit Soni.