All-rounder James Faulkner finally got his first game of the season, as after winning the toss and electing to field first, Suresh Raina announced that the Australian has been roped in the playing XI.
Along with him, Praveen Kumar made a comeback in the team too. Andrew Tye and Chinaman Shivil Kaushik were benched to make a way for these two players.
It was a surprising decision to bench Shivil, as Eden pitch is expected to assist spinners and Gujarat could have gone for any other spinner if not him.
On the another hand, Kolkata Knight Riders bolstered their spin attack by adding all-rounder Shakib al Hasan in the team in place of Colin de Grandhomme.
KKR is placed at the second spot in the points table but still, they are yet to spot the best opening combination. So, skipper Gautam Gambhir has to soon finalise his opening partner at the earliest so that this matter does not become a headache for the team ahead in the tournament.
KKR will look to continue their previous performance, as in the last contest between the two teams, the Gautam Gambhir-led side chased down a target of 184 in 14.5 overs with all ten wickets in hands.
Here is what both the captains said at the toss –
“We were going to bowl as well. Hopefully, we can try and put runs on the board and then defend it. One change for us. Shakib comes in place of Colin de Grandhomme. They (Gujarat) are a dangerous side, we’ve got to play our “A” game.”
“We are going to bowl first. There was a bit of dew last night. We need to bowl well with the new ball. We need to go out there and express ourselves. Two changes for us, Faulkner comes in for Tye, Praveen Kumar returns in place of Shivil Kaushik.”
Here is the playing XI of both the sides –
Gujarat Lions Playing XI: Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina(c), Aaron Finch, Dinesh Karthik(w), Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, James Faulkner, Praveen Kumar, Basil Thampi, Dhawal Kulkarni
Kolkata Knight Riders Playing XI: Gautam Gambhir(c), Robin Uthappa(w), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav, Shakib Al Hasan, Chris Woakes, Sunil Narine, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav.