Gujarat Lions will want to get back to winning ways © AFP
Gujarat Lions will want to get back to winning ways © AFP

Gujarat Lions (GL) were given a wake up call when they were handed a 8-wicket thrashing by Delhi Daredevils in their previous match in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 and will want to bounce back immediately in their next game against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at Hyderabad. Their game against DD was their last home match of the season and will look to put their two back-to-back losses behind them and focus on the rest of the tournament. They are currently placed second in the table and are just a win or two away from securing a place in the playoffs. Let’s have a look at their likely XI for the match. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Gujarat Lions, IPL 2016, Match 34 at Hyderabad 

Top-order: With Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith at the top, GL have one of the most destructive opening pairs in the tournament. Both failed in the previous match, but they are impact players and can handle the situation of the match in a matter of a few deliveries. It was Aaron Finch, who batted at No. 3 in the previous game, but it will be skipper Suresh Raina, who will reclaim his No. 3 spot if Dwayne Bravo comes back into the side. If he plays, Finch is best suited to open the innings and could see Smith dropping down to the No. 4 spot. Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) vs Gujarat Lions (GL), IPL 2016, Match 34 at Hyderabad: Preview

Middle-order: Dinesh Karthik has been a touch inconsistent in the tournament but has played some useful innings as well. He will be one of the key players in the middle-order, who may also put the finishing touches if needed. Bravo missed the previous match due to injury, but he looks set to return to the playing XI, which will be a major boost. Although Bravo has had very little impact with the bat, once he gets going, he is a joy to watch. The likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Ishan Kishan and James Faulkner make up a strong middle-order for GL.

Bowlers: GL are blessed to have a few good all-rounders like Jadeja, Bravo and Faulkner. Smith too can bowl a bit a medium pacers, if called upon. Bravo can be effective with his clever change of pace, but has been on the expensive side so far. It is the same with Faulkner as well. However it is the spinners, who have brought them back into the game. Jadeja along with Shivil Kaushik have been economical and have successfully managed to slow the scoring in the middle overs.

The most baffling part is however the fact that experienced fast bowler Praveen Kumar has played all matches in the tournament, picking up just a couple of wickets at a shocking average of 104.50. It is time Raina takes a firm stand and excludes him from this match at least and give a game to either Pradeep Sangwan or fast bowler Amit Mishra.

It would make sense for Sangwan to play as it will add an extra dimension to their bowling attack as he is a left-arm fast bowler and may be handy while bowling in tandem with Dhawal Kulkarni.

Likely XI for GL: Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina (c), Aaron Finch/ Dwayne Bravo, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, James Faulkner, Ishan Kishan, Pradeep Sangwan/ Amit Mishra, Shivil Kaushik, Dhawal Kulkarni.

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)