The downfall of the Gujarat Lions in this season of the IPL has made for an extremely sorry tale, as the side which finished third in its maiden season has looked miserable this time around. As per several greats of the game, the one clear reason behind this young side lacking behind has been the one-dimensional thinking of the team management. Packing the side with just explosive batsmen has backfired as the bowling has looked profusely incompetent, to say the least.
Handing over the bowling duties to veteran Indian pacers such as Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel and Irfan Pathan lately hasn’t been of any avail as their pace battery has lacked the firepower. Of course, there has been some promise in the form of young Basil Thampi, who has bowled his heart out, but otherwise, the bowling picture isn’t too impressive for this side.
Up against another side out of the reckoning for the playoffs, the Lions would be eager to score another win.
The two teams met barely five days ago at Delhi as the game was a host to an absolute run glutton. The Lions put up an enormous 207 on board, with skipper Suresh Raina leading the way with a rapid 77. Wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik chipped in with a fluent half-century as well.
But the star of the evening that day as Rishab Pant, as the youngster put on a show of complete mayhem, tearing into the Gujarat bowlers. Pant’s knock of 97 along with a half-century from Samson made the target look like a walk in the park.
Recent form this season:
GL: W, L, L, L, W
DD: L, W, W, L, L
Among the few positives for the Lions, has been the courage and heart in the performances put by India’s former Under 19 captain Ishan Kishan. The southpaw has played a couple of impressive knocks and his strikes are pretty clean, to say the least. Keeping in mind his clean and powerful striking, he is someone who can be kept in mind for the near future.
With Brendon McCullum out injured, his opening partner Dwayne Smith finally struck form at Mohali with a blazing half century which ultimately won his side the game. The former West Indian opener will look to do the same at Kanpur.
GL Predicted XI:
- D. Smith 2. I. Kishan 3. S. Raina (c) 4. D. Karthik 5. A. Finch 6. R. Jadeja 7. J. Faulkner 8. I. Pathan 9. D. Kulkarni 10. B. Thampi 11. A. Soni