Sunrisers Hyderabad will face Gujarat Lions in the 2nd qualifier of IPL 2016, with the winner going all the way to Bangalore to face Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final. Sunrisers Hyderabad will have momentum with them, having defeated Kolkata Knight Riders on this very ground, just 2 days back. On the other hand, Gujarat Lions were just short of the victory, just because of a brilliant innings from AB deVilliers.
The most heartening aspect about Sunrisers’ victory was that it came without any sort of contribution from David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan. Yuvraj Singh, along with Moises Henriques, rose to the occasion and took his side to a defendable total. And then their bowling, which is arguably the best of the tournament.
Gujarat Lions will take heart from the fact that they almost ruled the much-talked about RCB batting line-up. The inconsistency of top order remains their main concern.
The match will be played at Feroz Shah Kotla, the same venue, where Sunrisers defeated Kolkata Knightriders, just a couple of days back. The venue should again present a low scoring game, and help to the spinners, only if they are willing to take any. KKR utilised Kuldeep Yadav at the start of the innings, something Gujarat might also try to employ against Sunrisers Hyderabad. But they haven’t experimented with their bowling combination a lot, and that might just see Praveen Kumar and Dhawal Kulkarni open the bowling.
With SRH’s middle order showing some sort of form, and their ever reliant bowling line-up, this is their match to lose. Gujarat Lions will have to sort out their combination, one that suits this pitch. They lost their way in the 2nd half of the league stage and then somehow crawled to the top of the table. They may be tempted to play extra spinner(s), given Bravo hasn’t been in the best of the business so far. They have 3 potential openers and will be interesting to see who opens the innings. Sunrisers, on the other hand, are likely to go with the same playing XI.
For fantasy teams, the basis is very clear; pick as many potential bowlers, plus the bowlers who are likely to get a go during the batting. No doubt that one must be lucky to get the right batsman. You pick ‘X’, and he fails but ‘Y’ clicks. But one just can’t help in such cases.
Among batsmen, I would personally go with David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh ( only because of his performance in the previous match), Suresh Raina & Aaron Finch. It’s okay to replace Dwayne Smith with one of these 2 Gujarat Lions’ batsmen. In some fantasy leagues, Yuvraj is considered to be an all-rounder. I will still prefer him there. Not just his bowling, he might well be a good option as a bowler too.
Among all-rounder, Moises Henriques is my first pick. Ravindra Jadeja would have made it to my XI on this pitch, had this match been against any team, but not Sunrisers Hyderabad, just for the fact that they have too many left-handers. Dwayne Bravo should not be expected to contribute a lot with the bat on a turner, but his slow balls should grip the surface and thus may fetch you some points.
Dinesh Karthik should be your first choice wicket-keeper batsman.
Among bowlers, pick any one among Praveen Kumar and Dhawal Kulkarni. Nothing much to choose between the two. Maybe, I would go with Praveen Kumar because Warner and Dhawan struggle more against swing, than pace. The other two being Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Mustafizur Rahman. Mustafizur’s wickets column doesn’t really reflect his contribution towards the Sunrisers side, but that really has helped the others to pile up few wickets.