Reeling from a 10-wicket mauling by two-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Kolkata Knight Riders, Gujarat Lions have a daunting task when they take on defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad in the afternoon match of Sunday’s double-header here.
The Lions were demolished by the KKR opening pair of Chris Lynn and Gautam Gambhir during their 184-run opening stand in their opening tie at Rajkot on Friday.
On the other hand, the hosts will be brimming with confidence after a comfortable 35-run win in their opening game against an injury-ravaged Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at home on Wednesday.
With the likes of senior batsmen Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh and all-rounder Moises Henriques in red hot form, David Warner’s side looks the favourites going into the match.
In the opening game, Yuvraj and Dhawan made their intent of getting a recall to India’s Champions Trophy squad clear with some destructive batting. While Yuvraj blasted a 27-ball 62, Dhawan laid the foundation, scoring 40 runs with Henriques also getting a half century.
Sunrisers have a potent bowling attack with veteran Ashish Nehra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ben Cutting and Afghanistan rookie Rashid Khan sharing the burden.
Gujarat, meanwhile, has a lot to strategies going into the game against the hosts. Australia all-rounder James Faulkner may replace a horribly out-of-form and out-of-shape Dwayne Smith.
With Jason Roy and Brendon McCullum set to get a longer rope at the top of the order, Faulkner’s better bowling ability makes him a more viable option that Smith, who is batting lower down the order.
Skipper Suresh Raina had acknowledged missing seasoned players like Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja. Stumper Dinesh Karthik and Raina looked in good touch, but they definitely would make some changes in their bowling department.
Gujarat’s primarily Indian bowling line-up, comprising the likes of Shivil Kaushik and medium pacer Dhawal Kulkarni were taken to the cleaners by the KKR opening duo on Friday.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (Captain), Yuvraj Singh, Tanmay Agarwal, Ricky Bhui, Bipul Sharma, Ben Cutting, Shikhar Dhawan, Eklavya Dwivedi, Moises Henriques, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan, Siddarth Kaul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ben Laughlin, Abhimanyu Mithun, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammed Siraj, Mustafizur Rahman, Ashish Nehra, Naman Ojha, Rashid Khan, Vijay Shankar, Barinder Sran, Pravin Tambe, Kane Williamson.
Gujarat Lions: Suresh Raina (Captain), Dinesh Karthik (WK), Jason Roy, Dwayne Smith, Akshdeep Nath, Shubham Agarwal, Basil Thampi, Dwayne Bravo, Chirag Suri, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Manpreet Gony, Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Shadab Jakati, Shivil Kaushik, Dhawal Kulkarni, Praveen Kumar, Brendon McCullum, Munaf Patel, Pratham Singh, Pradeep Sangwan, Jaydev Shah, Shelley Shaurya, Nathu Singh, Tejas Baroka, Andrew Tye.