As Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions are placed fourth and fifth in the points table respectively, both teams would be eyeing to grab two crucial points to keep marching the enticing points table of IPL 2017 before aiming to improve their net run-rate which also plays a crucial role in close ties on the points table.
While earning 10 points in its nine games, Supergiant registered a convincing win over Royal Challengers Bangalore by 61 runs, as they claimed the fifth win which was followed by four losses.
Gujarat Lions bowlers produced a moment of brilliance in the field when they tied the match against Mumbai Indians on Saturday night (April 29) at home (Rajkot before losing the game in super over following the brilliant exhibition of death bowling by unorthodox bowler Jasprit Bumrah.
After Irfan Pathan was inducted into the playing XI of Gujarat Lions, it was the left-arm bowler himself, who defended crucial runs in the final over after being dispatched for a six on his first ball before Ravindra Jadeja sent back Jasprit Bumrah on the very last ball.
The best thing during this ongoing IPL has been youngsters rising to the occasion, as we have witnessed Ishan Kishan playing a significant knock for Gujarat Lions at the top after Brendon McCullum was dismissed early on in the other game.
On the other side, Rahul Tripathi has been in great form while giving a rousing start to its team by playing some brilliant strokes to impress a lot with his ability to strike the ball neat and clean.
While receiving the blow, Gujarat Lions would most probably miss out Andrew Tye, who injured his left shoulder during fielding against Mumbai Indians and now has been ruled out of the tournament.
The death-bowling specialist Tye also played a cameo of 25 off 12 balls before sending down one over in which he conceded nine runs. Interestingly, Tye claimed the hat-trick against Supergiant while registering his best figures as five for 17, as Gujarat also claimed their first win of the season on April 14 after losing out on first two matches.
Tracking The Strength
While having Steven Smith at the helm, who is being equally supported by experienced wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni in strategies on-field, Smith has been in rich form, as Rahul Tripathi has been the revelation with the bat.
Promoting Manoj Tiwari up the order would serve the cause for Supergiant, as he could score some quick runs to give it the best platform to rely on for hosts.
Interestingly, the young right-handed batsman has registered six consecutive 30-plus scores for Supergiant to set the tone for middle-order batsmen. Supergiant would also be relying on Imran Tahir, who has picked 13 wickets in nine matches so far.
Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat has bowled in tandem without too much success to their name, before Lockie Ferguson returned to the side in his second game of the season while bowling probing line and length.
The side would be further strengthened by Ben Stokes return, as he has also played a crucial role with the ball. However, he is yet to showcase with the bat after earning a whopping 14.5 crore deal in IPL Players’ Auction in February this year.
Gujarat Lions: Suresh Raina has to play a crucial role as a skipper and particularly as a batsman to improve his side chances for the playoff stage. So far, Raina has amassed 310 runs at an average of 51.66 runs which also includes two fifties.
With the inclusion of Irfan Pathan, it would add the variety in the bowling line-up, as the left-arm bowler has a lot of international experience on his back, who could further score crucial runs for the team.
Ishan Kishan is the batsman, who has the ability to give his best at the top, as he has a wide range of shots in his book.
Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch has to come all guns blazing at the top to help the side in registering all-important wins for the team.
James Faulkner, who has bowled super over for Gujarat Lions in which he claimed two wickets could pose threat in the late order with his batting ability for any of the side.
There isn’t that much of experience taking place in the bowling department of Gujarat Lions, who would prefer to give their best in Pune.
In the previous match at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune, Lions chased down the target of 172 in 18 overs to clinch the match by seven wickets.
In overall three matches, Gujarat Lions had better off Supergiant by winning all three matches so far.
On April 14, Lions beat Supergiant by seven wickets in Rajkot followed by a three-wicket win in Pune on April 29.
The hosts would be eyeing revenge, as they have so far completely felt miserable against Lions force.
Both the skipper would like to bat second after winning the toss.
Here we’re expecting that the side batting first would put a target in exceed of 175 on board and there’s a possibility that Supergiant might emerge victorious in this game.