Battle of batsmen as upbeat Lions take on KXIP
Some of the finest exponents of T20 batting will showcase their skills when a confident Gujarat Lions take on a battle-scarred Kings XI Punjab in an Indian Premier League encounter, here on Sunday.
The likes of Suresh Raina, Brendon McCullum, and Aaron Finch will be aiming to match the likes of Glenn Maxwell, Hashim Amla, and Marcus Stoinis stroke for stroke on what promises to be another belter of a track.
On paper, there is not much to choose between the two teams even though Punjab, despite being on a losing streak, are placed fifth with four points while Gujarat are seventh with the same number of points.
But the Gujarat Lions will take a lot of heart from their win against the formidable Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens with skipper Raina finally showing why he is revered in the shortest format. The 46-ball-84 against a potent Knight Riders attack will certainly bolster their confidence after a string of defeats. Similarly, KXIP will take solace from the fact that they scored a near 200 total (198) against the Mumbai Indians with Hashim Amla scoring a terrific hundred and skipper Maxwell also hitting some lusty blows. For Gujarat, McCullum with 258 runs and Raina with 243 runs, are among the top five run-getters in the tournament so far. However, the problem area for both the teams has been bowling which has let them down on most of the occasions. The Indian bowlers, in both the teams, have not been able to set the stage on fire with noteworthy performances.
However, the problem area for both the teams has been bowling which has let them down on most of the occasions. The Indian bowlers, in both the teams, have not been able to set the stage on fire with noteworthy performances.
Take the case of India discards Mohit Sharma and Sandeep Sharma. The two medium-pacers have been preferred by Maxwell in all the six matches and their economy rates have been a dismal 9.39 and 9.18 respectively. Even Varun Aaron, in the three matches that he has played, had an economy rate of 8.90. Only Axar Patel has somewhat redeemed himself with an economy rate of 7.31. Gujarat Lions will be hoping to somehow fit in their best pacer Andrew Tye, who has taken seven wickets in three games including a hat-trick at a decent economy rate of 7.08. Ravindra Jadeja is still yet to fire.
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