IPL 9: Can roaring Gujarat Lions extend their unbeaten streak against volatile Sunrisers Hyderabad?
While Sunrisers Hyderabad broke their losing spell by defeating Mumbai Indians at home, Gujarat Lions have won all of their three games in the IPL so far.
Rajkot: Unbeaten in all the three games they have played so far in the tournament, Gujarat Lions (GL) would look to continue with their impressive winning run when they take on Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at Rajkot on Thursday in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).
The Lions have been in red-hot form in their debut season with convincing wins in all the three games and they would seek to maintain a clean slate come Thursday at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
The home side will also be bolstered by the return of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who did not play in the Lion's seven-wicket thrashing of defending champions Mumbai Indians in Mumbai due to his wedding.
Jadeja is all set to return to the team as all post-marriage rituals got completed," Lions team sources said. The IPL debutants have won their two away matches against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Mumbai Indians (MI). They also defeated Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) at home by seven wickets.
Australian opener Aaron Finch, who has hit three fifties in as many matches, will once again be the batting mainstay for the Lions.
Finch, who had to battle muscle cramp in Lions' win against Mumbai, started the IPL season in sparkling touch, scoring 74, 50 and 67 not out. On each occasion, he has been named the man of the match, only the second time in IPL history a player has won the award three consecutive times.
Former New Zealand hard-hitting batsman Brendon McCullum is yet to score a big one as his highest in three matches has been 49 against Rising Pune Supergiants, and he would look to make his mark on Thursday.
Captain Suresh Raina is yet to capitalise on the starts he has got in the previous games and he can be expected to score big runs at home turf. Dinesh Karthik, Dwayne Bravo and Jadeja would be handy in the batting front for the Lions.
The bowling attack has also been up to the task with Bravo, James Faulkner and Praveen Kumar doing well in the pace
department while Jadeja's return will bolster spin department which also has the likes of Pravin Tambe and Shadab Jakati.
Bravo has taken six wickets in three matches while Jadeja have four from the two matches he played.
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