IPL

IPL – MATCH 26 – GUJARAT LIONS VS KINGS XI PUNJAB – FANTASY CRICKET PREVIEW

After the thumping win over KKR in away match on Friday night, Gujarat Lions are back to Rajkot to play their 4th home match of the season on Sunday evening. In this match Lions hosts Glenn Maxwell captaining Kings XI Punjab. Both the teams are with 2 wins and 4 points each at the moment and the winner of this game will move up in the points table. The 26th match between Gujarat Lions vs Kings XI Punjab is scheduled to begin at 4 PM IST | 10:30 AM GMT on Sunday, 23rd April 2017.

 

GUJARAT LIONS :

With 2 wins in 6 matches, Gujarat Lions are earned 4 points so far and moved to 7 in the points table. They were at bottom of the table before the game vs KKR on Friday. The must needed win came at right time for the Lions and that would motivate them to approach following matches in positive mode. Lions were started the season with two back-to-back losses and lost both of those matches in huge difference of margins. Then, came with first win in their 3rd match and got some momentum. All were expected that they going to keep that momentum in next matches. But, Lions once again gone into losing ways and lost an another back-to-back matches. The result was they lost 4 matches in first 5 encounters. When they were looks for must win, captain Suresh Raina delivered for his team and won them all important match against KKR on Friday. Still, Dwayne Bravo was out of the XI and expected him to keep away from the XI on Sunday. Dwayne Smith who opened the innings for Lions in 3 matches, once again pushed down to middle-order in the last game vs KKR as he managed to score only 1 run in previous 2 innings.

Aaron Finch was back to opening position for the first time in the season and straightaway he gone for big hitting in powerplay overs. Finch smashed 4 fours and 2 sixes in quick succession and scored 31 off just 15 balls for his team. He should continue his good run in Sunday’s game and score more runs for his team. Brendon McCullum is in prime form and he continued that in game vs KKR too. In last 4 innings, McCullum smashed 49, 64, 72 and 33 runs respectively, that form is key for Lions. Captain Suresh Raina who played an unbeaten 68 runs in the first game, got a good start in rest of the matches but not succeeded in converting that into big scores. He corrected those errors on the game against KKR and came back into form with 84 runs off 46 balls. The most experienced batsman at no. 3 in IPL history, Raina smashed 9 fours and 4 sixes on that day for Lions. Not only with bat, he also bowled well in that match and broken the opening partnership of KKR in his first over. He needs to carry forward this form for the upcoming matches and score plenty of runs for the team. Wicket keeper Dinesh Karthik was in very good form and smashed the ball all over the park in couple of innings. But he lost his wicket for 1 and 3 runs respectively in last 2 innings. He is in a position of re-find his form and score lot of runs for his team especially when he bats at no. 4 for Lions. Dwayne Smith failed to score runs for the third time in a row, on Friday – he came at no. 6 and managed to score only 5 runs for his name. Lions needs him to play a handy knock, or else he could be the man who makes a way for Bravo when he returns to the XI.

Ishan Kishan played a superb knock against RCB few days back where he scored 39 runs in just 16 balls. But, against KKR, he managed to score only 4 runs in 11 balls. The young batsman should bat better in this home game and keep his place safe in the middle-order. Once again Ravindra Jadeja bowled bit expensive spell and remained wicket less on Friday night. He had great season for Team India and everyone’s eyes on him. The fans are expecting magical spells from Jadeja. But he is not delivered that yet. With bat, Jadeja accompanied Raina in second half of the innings and scored 19 runs off 13 balls with 1 four and a six. James Faulkner finally got a first match in this season and managed to bowl at 9.5 runs per over in his 4 overs spell. He picked one wicket for 38 runs. He is a good all rounder, he might get an another chance on Sunday. Still, Andrew Tye is the favorite to play a game on Sunday. Praveen Kumar, Dhawal Kulkarni and Basil Thampi – all three of them bowled over 11 runs per over against KKR. That’s the big issue point for Lions. The Indian pacers goes too expensive in each innings and allow the opposition to score plenty of runs. Lions might look for a change and bring some new talents to the equation.

 

KINGS XI PUNJAB :

After winning the first two matches in a row, Kings XI Punjab has 4 losses in a row now. They have played 6 matches till date and won only 2 and both of those win came in first week of the tournament. Four losses in a trot are a big set back for Kings. They should re-group and starts to win matches, otherwise they will end up the season with disappointing note once again. The brilliant knock of 95 runs by Manan Vohra vs SRH was not enough for KXIP to cross the line and they lost that match by just 5 runs. In the last game against Mumbai Indians, another opener Hashim Amla came with his maiden IPL century and that also not enough for KXIP to taste the victory. As KXIP won both of their matches at Indore, chances were high for them to register a third victory at that venue. But, due to the disappointing performance of their bowlers, MI chased down the mammoth target of 199 in just 15.3 overs.

Still KXIP are at no. 5 in the points table and still they have a chances in the tournament, what they have to do is start to win matches. There were lot of changes in KXIP XI for the last game vs MI. Shaun Marsh who stays with KXIP from very first season of IPL, played his first game of this season on Thursday. Along with Marsh, Stoinis, Gurkeerat Mann and Swapnil Singh also got chances in the XI. David Miller was dropped due to his poor form and Manan Vohra was not well to play that game. Shaun Marsh and Amla started well for KXIP in the powerplay and scoreboard were ticking continuously. Shaun Marsh managed to score 26 runs off 21 balls in that match. If Manan Vohra comes back to the XI, then Shaun Marsh might go down to no. 3 or 4 in the batting order vs Lions. Hashim Amla stayed till the end and scored 104 runs off just 60 balls. His innings includes 8 fours and 6 huge sixes. The prime form Amla is a key for Kings and they need him to continue the good show in upcoming matches too. Wriddhiman Saha’s poor run with the bat continued against MI, he scored only 11 runs off 15 balls.

Glenn Maxwell, captain of the team found his form back vs MI and scored 40 quick runs in just 18 balls. He smashed 4 fours and 3 sixes in his quick cameo. He should step up and play further bigger innings on Sunday and take his team to winning ways. As Stoinis gone very expensive with ball and not scored runs in that game, chances are high for either Eoin Morgan or David Miller to back in the XI for this game. Leading bowler of the team Axar Patel also had a bad outing against MI and remained wicket less. Team wants him to perform lot better in upcoming encounters. His batting also crucial for KXIP in end overs and he needs to deliver that too. All four specialist bowlers of KXIP in that game gone too expensive and caused their team a win. Ishant Sharma who bowled under 6 RPO against SRH, bowled at 14.5 RPO vs MI. Sandeep and Mohit Sharma also bowled expensive spells in that game. The middle order batting and poor bowling efforts are the weaknesses of KXIP at the moment. Varun Aaron is expected to be back in the XI in place of Ishant. If Martin Guptill is fit to play, he has chances to be in the XI. The hard hitting opener might change a fortune of KXIP once he fits.

 

KEY PLAYERS :

GUJARAT LIONS :

Batsmen :

  • Brendon McCullum
  • Suresh Raina
  • Aaron Finch
  • Dinesh Karthik
  • Jason Roy
  • Ishan Kishan

All Rounders :

  • Ravindra Jadeja
  • James Faulkner
  • Dwayne Smith
  • Dwayne Bravo

Bowlers :

  • Andrew Tye
  • Praveen Kumar
  • Dhawal Kulkarni
  • Basil Thampi
  • Tejas Baroka
  • Nathu Singh

 

POSSIBLE LINEUPS :

1. Aaron Finch, 2. Brendon McCullum, 3. Suresh Raina, 4. Dinesh Karthik, 5. Ishan Kishan, 6. Dwayne Smith / Dwayne Bravo, 7. James Faulkner / Andrew Tye, 8. Ravindra Jadeja, 9. Praveen Kumar / Dhawal Kulkarni, 10. Shivil Kaushik / Tejas Baroka, 11. Basil Thampi / Nathu Singh.

 

KEY PLAYERS :

KINGS XI PUNJAB :

Batsmen :

  • Hashim Amla
  • Manan Vohra
  • Shaun Marsh
  • Eoin Morgan
  • David Miller
  • Wriddhiman Saha
  • Martin Guptill

All rounders :

  • Glenn Maxwell
  • Marcus Stoinis
  • Axar Patel
  • Gurkeerat Singh

Bowlers :

  • Sandeep Sharma
  • Varun Aaron
  • KC Cariappa
  • Ishant Sharma
  • Mohit Sharma
  • T Natarajan

 

POSSIBLE LINEUPS :

1. Hashim Amla, 2. Manan Vohra, 3. Shaun Marsh, 4. Wriddiman Saha, 5. Glenn Maxwell, 6. Eoin Morgan / David Miller / Marcus Stoinis, 7. Axar Patel, 8. Gurkeerat Mann, 9. KC Cariappa / T Natarajan, 10. Sandeep Sharma / Varun Aaron, 11. Mohit Sharma.

 

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