Indian Premier League

Gujarat Lions versus Rising Pune Supergiants: pick your playing XI

This match might just as well be called Chennai Super Kings 'A' versus Chennai Super Kings 'B', seeing how much of the line-up on both sides is inherited from CSK. Former CSK players and close friends, M.S. Dhoni and Suresh Raina, face off in the 'Clash of Titans' as captains.

Both the new entrants to IPL got off to a winning start, Rising Pune Supergiants mauled Mumbai Indians while Gujarat Lions roared past Kings XI Punjab.

Rising Pune Supergiants

RPS started off well against Mumbai Indians with their bowlers and batters responding well to M.S. Dhoni's tactics, and won the match by 9 wickets. RPS bowlers restricted Mumbai Indians to a meagre total of 121 and in response Rahane and du Plessis gave their team a flying start. Pietersen clobbered some big hits towards the end and enabled RPS to win with a big margin.

I think Dhoni would play the same eleven in today’s match. If at all he changes, he might bring in Irfan Pathan in place of R.P. Singh, who was expensive against Mumbai Indians. But based on past records, Dhoni would not tinker too much with his winning combination.

Dhoni should use R.Ashwin more in this match against Gujarat Lions. R. Ashwin was brought only in the 16th over and gave away just seven runs and took a wicket. As Dhoni said in the post-match conference, R. Ashwin is the trump card against any opposition. R. Ashwin had responded well to Dhoni for Chennai Super Kings, and Dhoni had ridiculed rumours that there was a small rift between them.

In the match against Mumbai Indians, the young leggie M. Ashwin bowled well. Rajat Bhatia too responded to the captain's call and bowled economically. With Ishant Sharma and Mitchell Marsh striking crucial blows, Dhoni had not depended on the skills of R. Ashwin.

Today, Dhoni should take a call on R. Ashwin according to the pitch and match situation.

Gujarat Lions

Suresh Raina's Gujarat Lions had a roaring start to the tournament, defeating a strong Kings XI Punjab. The team has a strong batting line-up with the likes of Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch and Suresh Raina at the top. Though McCullum failed in the match against Kings XI, he is considered to be one of the most dangerous batsmen in the world cricket. Remember his 158 for KKR against RCB in the inaugural match of the IPL in 2008?

Aaron Finch showed his muscle power against Kings XI Punjab in the first game and if couples it with his experience, he could be a dangerous batsman in the opening slot.

Suresh Raina had a decent opening match. He was followed by Dinesh Karthik, Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja. So the batting department is very good for Gujarat Lions.

The bowling was ably led by Dwayne Bravo, who took his 300th wicket in IPL, surpassing Lasith Malinga's 299.

I think Suresh Raina would play with the same eleven which played against Kings XI Punjab.

Suresh Raina would have to think how to stop the bludgeoning Rahane, Faf du Plessis, Kevin Pietersen, Steve Smith and M.S. Dhoni.


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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 8:33:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/ipl/gujarat-lions-versus-rising-pune-supergiants-pick-your-playing-xi/article8475361.ece

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