IPL: Gujarat aim to bounce back against in-form Delhi (Preview)

Rajkot, May 2 (IANS) Gujarat Lions will aim to bounce back from a shock defeat in their last match and cement their position at the top of the table when they meet Delhi Daredevils in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Tuesday.

Bottom-placed Kings XI Punjab brought Gujarat’s three-match winning streak to an end with a 23-run win here on Sunday. But despite the shock loss, Gujarat are still at the top of the standings with 12 points from eight matches.

Chasing a moderate target of 155 runs, the Gujarat batting line-up suffered a rare dip in form. Gujarat’s strength has been consistent performances from their top order which has seen them ahieve scores of around 200 runs on a regular basis.

Openers Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith have formed a formidable combination while skipper Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik have made useful contributions in the middle-order. But all four came up short against Punjab and will be eager to prove themselves against Delhi in their last home match of the current season.

All-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja have been useful with the ball, but have yet to contribute with the bat. They continued their poor batting form against Punjab as well, which should be a concern for the Gujarat think tank.

Bravo has taken 10 wickets in eight matches so far, but has contributed just 52 runs with the bat. Jadeja, on the other hand, has claimed five wickets from seven matches, but has managed to score only 53 runs.

Australian all-rounder James Faulkner however, has been quite consistent in the lower down the order and can be relied upon to come up with the bit hits late in the innings.

Among the bowlers, left-arm spinner Shivil Kaushik had impressive figures of 3/20 against Punjab and will be hoping to take his form into Tuesday’s match. Pacers Dhawal Kulkarni and Praveen Kumar have been doing well while Faulkner will hope to do better after going for quite a few runs against Punjab.

Delhi, meanwhile, are upbeat after beating former champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their last match. They have been quite impressive so far this season and are currently third on the table with eight points.

Quinton de Kock’s form has petered off somewhat after a quickfire century in his first match while fellow opener Shreyas Iyer is also struggling for runs.

South Africa star Jean-Paul Duminy, Karun Nair and Sanju Samson have done well in the middle-order while English import Sam Billings showed promise with a 34-ball 54 against Kolkata in what was his first match for Delhi this season.

West Indies all-rounder Craig Brathwaite made a successful return to the team with an 11-ball 34 against the Knight Riders. South African all-rounder Chris Morris has contributed with both bat and ball.

In the bowling department, captain Zaheer Khan has struggled to re-capture his best form. But the former India left-arm pacer enjoyed a successful outing against KKR, returning figures of 3/21. Brathwaite also bagged three wickets against KKR, although he was quite expensive, giving away 47 runs in his four overs.

The squads:

Gujarat Lions: Suresh Raina (captain), Sarabjit Ladda, Akshadeep Nath, Amit Mishra, Dwayne Bravo, Paras Dogra, Eklavya Dwivedi, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Shadab Jakati, Dinesh Karthik, Shivil Kaushik, Dhawal Kulkarni, Praveen Kumar, Brendon McCullum, Pradeep Sangwan, Jaydev Shah, Umang Sharma, Dwayne Smith, Dale Styne, Pravin Tambe, Andrew Tye.

Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Khaleel Ahmed, Sam Billings, Carlos Brathwait, Nathan Coulter Nile, Quinton de Kock, Jean-Paul Duminy, Akhil Harwardkar, Imran Tahir, Shreyas Iyer, Manipal Lamror, Chama Milind, Amit Mishra, Mohammad Shami, Chris Morris, Shahbaz Nadeem, Karun Nair, Pawan Negi, Rishabh Pant, Pratyush Singh, Sanju Samson, Pawan Suyal, Jayant Yadav.

–IANS

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