Preview: Gujarat Lions bowlers will face a litmus test when they take on a star-studded Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batting line-up in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Rajkot on Tuesday.
Gujarat, led by Suresh Raina, had a dream debut last season by finishing third on the table but they are at seventh place in the ongoing edition of the cash-rich Twenty20 cricket league.
Gujarat Lions led by Suresh Raina (L) clash with RCB led by Virat Kohli in Match 20 of IPL 2017 in Rajkot. Sportzpics
Apart from one match against Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS), where their bowling department did a fantastic job, Gujarat's bowlers have struggled to find the rhythm.
A recent six-wicket defeat against Mumbai Indians also raised many questions over Gujarat's bowling unit, which lacked some quality bowlers. But the inclusion of Andrew Tye has added a spark to the bowling attack as he scalped five wickets, including a hat-trick.
With three losses in four matches so far in the tournament, Gujarat will now look to better their overall record against bottom-placed RCB.
Unlike the bowling department, Gujarat's batting unit has been in a good touch. Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch, Raina and Dinesh Karthik provided the solid platform but the lower-middle order failed to step up to the pressure.
Gujarat, who bought the maximum number of players (11) among the eight franchises at the IPL auctions in February will be eager to find a right combination for the rest of the tournament.
On the other hand, last year's runners-up Bangalore, who have some quality international players are struggling in this edition.
They have a strong batting line-up but failed to find the right combination. Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli and Shane Watson have stood up to their reputation but not in unison.
The bowling department of Bangalore, which includes Tymal Mills and Samuel Badree, fired in some crucial matches but all players have to perform in unison to do well in the tournament.
Gujarat Lions squad: Suresh Raina(c), Ravindra Jadeja, James Faulkner, Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch, Dwayne Smith, Dinesh Karthik, Dhawal Kulkarni, Praveen Kumar, Andrew Tye, Ishan Kishan, Pradeep Sangwan, Shivil Koushik, Shadab Bashir Jakati, Jaydev Shah, Manpreet Gony, Nathu Singh, Jason Roy, Munaf Patel, Chirag Suri, Akshdeep Nath, Basil Thampi, Shubham Agarwal, Tejas Baroka, Pratham Singh, Shelley Sanjay Kumar Shaurya, Dwayne Bravo.
RCB squad: Virat Kohli(c), AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Mandeep Singh, Adam Milne, Sarfaraz Khan, Sreenath Aravind, Kedar Jadhav, Shane Watson, Stuart Binny, Samuel Badree, Iqbal Abdulla, Travis Head, Sachin Baby, Avesh Khan, Tabraiz Shamsi, Pawan Negi, Tymal Mills, Praveen Dubey, Aniket Choudhary, Billy Stanlake, Vishnu Vinod.
With IANS inputs.
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Updated Date: Apr 19, 2017 00:58:29 IST