Both the teams are languishing at the bottom of the points table    AFP
Both the teams are languishing at the bottom of the points table AFP

Gujarat Lions (GL) lock horns with Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in Match 13 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 at the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) Stadium, Rajkot. GL are the only team in the competition without a win this season so far and will look to get off the mark against RPS, who have not been in particularly good form themselves. After a promising start to the tournament, RPS have lost their next two games first against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) by 6 wickets and then were handed a 97-run thrashing by Delhi Daredevils (DD). RPS as a result now just lie one place above GL, who are at the bottom at the moment in the IPL 2017 points table. Full Cricket Scorecard, Gujarat Lions vs Rising Pune Supergiant, IPL 2017, Match 13

RPS however did not have their skipper Steven Smith in the previous game due to illness, and RPS will be looking to welcome him back. But it will be interesting to see who he replaces. Will he replace Faf du Plessis or will leg-spinner Adam Zampa make way. RPS also missed Manoj Tiwary against DD as he flew home after the demise of his father. He should return to the fold, but his availability is yet to be confirmed. Rahul Tripathi will make way for Tiwary in that case.

Barring that one fifty against KXIP, Stokes has failed to fire in the remaining games, with both bat and ball. His bowling has been way below par. He has conceded 36, 32 and 41 runs in the three matches so far and has picked up just one wicket. RPS will surely want their 14 crore purchase to do much better than that. Also, time is surely running out for Mayank Agarwal, who has not played to his full potential yet. This match could be his last chance to shine, before he is dropped. Same can also said about Ashok Dinda, who has failed to keep the runs down. RPS are not short of options. They have the likes of Ishwar Pandey, Jaydev Unadkat and also Shardul Thakur to pick from.

However, Imran Tahir has been outstanding for RPS. He has already picked up 6 wickets from the three matches. Unfortunately for him and RPS, the other bowlers have not been able to complement him from the other end.

RPS likely XI: Steven Smith (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Mayank Agarwal, Faf du Plessis, Manoj Tiwary, Ben Stokes, MS Dhoni (wk), Rajat Bhatia, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur/Jaydev Unadkat, Imran Tahir

GL need to find inspiration from somewhere and try to register a win in this game. They could not have had a better time to face RPS as they seem to be low on confidence. The loss against DD really knocked the stuffing out of RPS and GL need to cash in on that. GL have however received major boost when it comes to their fitness. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is likely to play in this match, while Bravo still needs some more time to recover from his surgery. Jadeja s return will be a huge boost for GL, who have struggled in their opening games. Jadeja s addition will add to GL s batting and in order to strengthen their bowling attack, they might sacrifice a batsman.

Aaron Finch could make way for fellow Australian Andrew Tye or perhaps get in for his first game this season. Also James Faulkner too might be considered as another option.

GL playing XI: Suresh Raina (c), Jason Roy, Brendon McCullum, Dinesh Karthik, Dwayne Smith, Ravindra Jadeja, James Faulkner/Andrew Tye, Dhawal Kulkarni, Praveen Kumar, Basil Thampi, Shivik Kaushik

Head-to-head: GL and RPS have played each other just twice, with GL winning both matches. However, this will be the first time these two sides will play at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot. Last time these two sides met, Smith scored 101, yet ended up on the losing side. He would want to turn things around for his side this time around.

Prediction: Both sides are in desperate need of a win. Both teams will go all guns blazing in this match. They have good power hitters at the top, but have often find it difficult to control the run flow in the final stages of the match. Hence, the team that puts in a disciplined bowling performance will certainly emerge victorious. RPS and GL however have a batting line-up that could chase down any target.

Squads:

Gujarat Lions: Suresh Raina (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, Praveen Kumar, Manpreet Gony, Dhawal Kulkarni, Aaron Finch, Shadab Bashir Jakati, Jason Roy, Shivil Kaushik, Dwayne Bravo, Munaf Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, Jaydev Shah, Pradeep Sangwan, James Faulkner, Akshdeep Nath, Andrew Tye, Chirag Suri, Basil Thampi, Ishan Kishan, Nathu Singh, Shubham Agarwal, Tejas Baroka, Pratham Singh, Shelley Shaurya

Rising Pune Supergiant: MS Dhoni (wk), Manoj Tiwary, Ajinkya Rahane, Ashok Dinda, Rajat Bhatia, Mayank Agarwal, Steven Smith (c), Ben Stokes, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, Adam Zampa,Daniel Christian, Jaydev Unadkat, Usman Khawaja, Ankit Sharma, Faf du Plessis, Baba Aparajith, Ishwar Pandey, Shardul Thakur, Rahul Tripathi, Ankush Bains, Saurabh Kumar, Lockie Ferguson, Jaskaran Singh, Milind Tandon, Rahul Chahar

TIME: 14.30 GMT | 20.00 IST