Ahmed Shehzad needs to fire at the top of the order for Lahore Lions against CSK on Thursday © IANS
Ahmed Shehzad needs to fire at the top of the order for Lahore Lions against CSK on Thursday © IANS

Lahore Lions (LL) will face Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in their all important second game of the main stage of the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) 2014. Sandipan Banerjee pens down the likely XI of the Lions which takes the field in this clash.

Lahore Lions (LL) will be taking on the confident Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in an important Group A match at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Benglauru on Thursday. The Lions are yet to win a match in the main stage and this game against CSK will decide their fate in the tournament. Here is Lahore Lions’s likely XI for this encounter:

Ahmed Shehzad: Ahmed Shehzad has impressed everyone with his performance at the top order inCLT20 2014. He played attacking cricket and gave his team good starts. He would look to repeat the same against CSK as well.

Nasir Jamshed: He did not look in good shape throughout this ongoing tournament but this is the time for him to prove his worth. But Thursday’s game will be perfect for him to get back to form. The small boundaries in Bengaluru will help strokemakers like Nasir Jamshed.

Mohammad Hafeez (c): Mohammad Hafeez has to lead from the front if the Lions wants to outclass CSK. Hafeez is arguably one of the best in his side and his contribution both, with the bat and ball will be crucial. Also it will interesting to see how he leads the team.

Saad Nasim: This middle-order batsman showcased his run scoring skills that too at a brisk pace during the qualifiers. When LL suffered a 72 run defeat against the Northern Knights, he was the only batsman to score reach the double figures; not only that he scored a gritty half-century as well in that match. He will be one of the players to watch out for in this match.

Umar Akmal (wk): Umar Akmal has this potential to take apart any bowling attack single-handedly. He was instrumental in taking LL to victory against the Mumbai Indians (MI) in the qualifiers. If he gets going then, then he can cause some serious problems for the opponents. Against the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, Akmal’s hitting ability will be needed by Lahore.

Umar Siddiq: This youngster from Lahore was asked to open the batting in their final game of the qualifiers against the Southern Express. Although, his records doesn’t speak highly of him but he can be useful at the top of the order as well as in the middle order.

Wahab Riaz: Wahab Riaz is the main bowler of this team. Against a power packed batting line up like CSK,  his experience will be valuable for Lahore. His ability to generate pace and lateral movements off the deck in these subcontinent wickets will hold the key for the Lions.

Aizaz Cheema: Aizaz Cheema was impressive throughout the qualifiers. He fell short of three hat-trick chances that he created in against Northern Knights, MI and Southern Express. He will be one of the bowlers to watch out for.

Asif Raza: Raza can come in handy with his medium-pacers in the middle overs and can also score some quick runs lower down the order. A true T20 player.

Imran Ali: He adds to the LL pace attack. His numbers aren’t impressive enough but he will try to make an impact in this all important clash.

Adnan Rasool: Rasool is considered to be the second spinner after Hafeez. He bowls economically and also has this ability of picking up wickets at intervals. Though the short boundaries in Chinnaswamy will be a challenge for the spinners.

Complete coverage of Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014 here

(Sandipan Banerjee is a reporter at CricketCountry. Cricket has been the biggest passion for him since his childhood. So, when it came to choosing his career, he chose to turn his passion into his profession. Apart from cricket he likes mountain trekking, river rafting and photography. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)