About the Match
In an IPL where too many matches have been one-sided, the match between Rising Pune Supergiant and the Gujarat Lions is a mouth-watering prospect. Both the teams are in contention for the 4th
spot in the playoffs and will know that a victory here would go a long way in helping them secure that place.
Rising Pune Supergiant
RPS absolutely blew away Virat Kohli and his men in the last match and will be hoping to repeat the same against the Lions. This time though, they will be facing a batting lineup that is not only strong on paper but has been performing on the field as well.
RPS themselves will be pleased that regular contributions from Rahul Tripathi, Steve Smith, Manoj Tiwari and MS Dhoni has meant them getting to a decent total more often than not. Ajinkya Rahane has been subdued up until now but he is someone the opposition will always take seriously.
We think that the loss of Ben Stokes to RPS is a massive one and they have struggled to replace him in the team. Pune has gone the way of the extra overseas bowler in the form Lockie Ferguson and is backing their Indian boys to make up on the batting side of things.
It is a strategy that is fraught with danger because Pune does not have too strong a bowling lineup even with the presence of Imran Tahir and Lockie Ferguson. They dropped Shardul Thakur in the last match, a decision we found strange, and have kept faith with Deepak Chahar, Jayadev Unadkat, and Dan Christian.
A strong batting lineup could put their bowlers under pressure and really take them to task. RPS also need to be a little more aggressive through the 7-12 overs because they do not have the end over blasters in their team and MS Dhoni (formidable though he is) is not the force he once was.
The Lions fought brilliantly defending a below par total against the Mumbai Indians in their last game and only lost in the super over. It was something that should give them confidence for the upcoming games seeing as it came without their best bowler, Andrew Tye, now ruled out of the IPL due to injury.
The loss of Tye will be a huge blow to the Lions that have struggled with their bowling lineup this entire IPL. His replacement could either be an Indian bowler like Dhawal Kulkarni and then maybe make space for someone like Dwayne Smith in the batting order. Irfan Pathan may find himself out of the lineup after just a match in that case.
The batting strength for the Lions is pretty formidable though. Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch have hit 30 sixes between them this tournament and can take any bowling lineup apart on their day. Suresh Raina has also scored 300 plus runs in this IPL and once again looking like the IPL legend he is.
Contributions from people like Ishan Kishan and Dinesh Karthik make this batting lineup very capable.
We think the best chance that the Lions have of winning matches is by chasing down totals so that they can try and compensate for the shortcomings in their bowling attack.
Basil Thampi and James Faulkner were impressive in the last match as was Ankit Soni and Raina himself. It is, however, a little strange to see the best test bowler in the world, Ravindra Jadeja not being able to contribute anything of note in this format of the game.
Head To Head
After beating RPS earlier this year, the Gujarat Lions now hold a 3-0 advantage over the team from Pune.
We think that this match is going to be a closely fought one and any brilliant individual performance from either side could make the difference. Seeing the look of the two sides though, we back the Gujarat Lions to win and continue their dominance over Rising Pune Supergiant.
To Win: Gujarat Lions
Winner: Gujarat Lions, 2.1 @ Bet on Gujarat Lions now