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IPL 2017: Gujarat Lions vs Kolkata Knight Riders - Preview

Cricketnext Staff | April 7, 2017, 7:23 PM IST

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  • 19:17 (IST)


  • 19:15 (IST)

    EXPERT OPINION FROM 'CRICKETWALLAH' - AYAZ MEMON: What a big season this is for Suresh Raina! Denied a central contract, he simply has to score heavily in the IPL to keep prospects of an India place alive. Leading Gujarat Lions doubles the onus on him, but could also just be the challenge he needs to excel. 

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19:17 (IST)

Arnab: That concludes our preview for today, you can find out all that happened during the Opening ceremony in Gujarat here:

IPL 2017 Opening Ceremony From Rajkot

​Goodbye, from me and Baidurjo and do join us for the Live Blog once the match begins.


19:15 (IST)

EXPERT OPINION FROM 'CRICKETWALLAH' - AYAZ MEMON: What a big season this is for Suresh Raina! Denied a central contract, he simply has to score heavily in the IPL to keep prospects of an India place alive. Leading Gujarat Lions doubles the onus on him, but could also just be the challenge he needs to excel. 

19:13 (IST)

Baidurjo: Let's wait and watch, till then let's put out our likely playing XIs

Likely XI

Gujarat Lions: McCullum, Smith, Raina, Finch, Karthik, Ishan Kishan, Faulkner, Praveen Kumar, DhawalKulkarni, Shadab Jakati, Shivil Kaushik


Likely XI

Kolkata Knight Riders: Gambhir, Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Lynn, Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar, Woakes/Shakib, Kuldeep, Narine, Chawla, Boult 

19:08 (IST)

Arnab: Gujarat Lions had one of the worst economy rates in the powerplay lastyear so we will see how potent the pace attack can be.

Also Kolkata has a number of power hitters beginning with Australia's Chris Lynn, who scored 309 run sin 5 matches at this year's Big Bash League at a strike rate of 178. You might argue he isn't that good a player of spin, but hwre are your spinners in Jadeja's absence??

Also Yusuf Pathan and Suryakumar Yadav can both wield the long handle well.

Must reming you that there is no Dwayne Bravo with Gujarat. The Lions had the worst economy in the slog overs, conceding at a rate of 11 run sper over, even when they had Bravo in the team. So, wish you good luck!

19:02 (IST)

Baidurjo: The bowling attack that you call weak has proven IPL performers in Praveen Kumar and Dhawal Kulkarni, add to that list the experience of World Cup winner Munaf Patel and the guile of James Faulkner and you have a heady cocktail. Dhawal can take the ball away from Gambhir, his biggest problem area, and swing king Praveen can trouble slow started Uthappa.  

19:00 (IST)

Arnab: Kolkata have a sorted opening pair of 'Gauthappa', the duo of captain Gambhir and Uthappa have scored 1478 runs together in 39 innings at a strike rate of 133.03, with 50+ stands and four century stands, the second most prolific opening pair in IPL history.

They can take apart Gujarat's  weak bowling attack.

18:56 (IST)

Baidurjo: Narine not the same impact post action change, Shakib would be tired after a long series against Sri Lanka, Chawla hasn't bowled at the highest level for a while and Kuldeep is yet to win games on his own in T20 cricket. Also, conditions in Rajkot might not be spin-friendly.

Lions have a good player of spin in Dinesh Karthik, who is in red hot form, having scored centuries in the final of Vijay Hazare Trophy and the Deodhar Trophy.

18:49 (IST)

Arnab: Speaking about spinner, you know it well that Kolkata are the Spin Kings of the league. Sunil Narine has joined the camp and news coming in from the KKR camp is that Shakib has also joined the team. Along with them are two fine Indian spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla.

Since 2016:

Narine - M: 48, WKTS: 52, ECON: 6.82

Shakib - M: 71, WKTS: 63, ECON: 7.24

Piyush - M: 25, WKTS: 32, ECON: 7.07

Kuldeep - M: 14, WKTS: 15, ECON: 7.44

Need I say more?

18:44 (IST)

Arnab: Whoaaa! you are throwing some numbers at me. I can't counter Finch for sure because he has actually been outstanding in T20 cricket. Although it remains to be seen where he bats in the order because if he comes in the middle, then he will have to start off against the spinners and will have to deal in singles and doubles before openeing up and Finch isn't used to doing that often.

Smith hasn't set the stage on fire in T20s this season scoring 274 runs in 9 matches at an SR of 113.22. Also, not a regular in international cricket, fitness is a concern with the big man and prone to throwing his wicket away.

Jason Roy scored just 61 runs in the 3 T20Is against India earlier this year and is definitely suspect against quality spin bowling.

See, I know a few numbers too ;)

18:39 (IST)

Baidurjo: The other two possible openers are Dwayne Smith and Jason Roy. Both capable of hitting the ball hard and far in the powerplays. Specialist T20 batsmen. Roy was England's standout batsman in the 2016 WT20 while Smith scored 324 runs with 3 fifties at SR of 146.6 for the Lions last season.

18:36 (IST)

Baidurjo: 2) Aaron Finch is another batsman who is capable of getting big scores and unlike McCullum he has no problems with consistency. Record in T20s in 2017 - 375 runs in 9 matches, with a strike rate of 153.06

Also, he was one of the mainstays of Gujarat's batting last season, scoring 393 runs in 13 matches, with 5 fifties to his name, out of which 4 were in consecutive matches. 

18:30 (IST)

Arnab: You have stated the loopholes in your own statement. Problem of plenty means the captain will have to sacrifice one for the other, cuts down the threat by half (using logic), also McCullum is highly overrated and there is a huge question mark over his consistency. Getting a few sixes away and being a show pony is of no use if you can't go on and provide the team with a big platform. Happened last season as well when he managed only one score of 50. Also an LBW candidate early in the innings to the incoming delivery, Boult will know all about it.

18:27 (IST)

Baidurjo: Raina isn't the only one with the ability to get runs for the Lions, the Gujarat boys have a battery of explosive hitter at the top and it is actually a problem of plenty. Let me list them one by one -

1) Brendon McCullum: Perhaps the most dangerous opening batsman the world has seen in recent times. Can tear apart any bowling attack and has given enough proof of the same in the IPL as well over the years. Scored 354 runs in 16 matches at an SR of 135.11 with one half century. 

18:23 (IST)

Arnab: Raina's problems against the short ball is well documented and he still doesn't look confident against the rising delivery. Trent Boult was a good buy for KKR in the auction and he will be used by Gambhir to trouble Raina. 

18:20 (IST)

Baidurjo: Had a word with Raina the other day and he sounded very confident with his preparations going into this IPL. For all our fans, plugging in the exclusive interview here: 

IPL 2017: Suresh Raina Wants to Shut Critics With his Bat

18:17 (IST)

Arnab: Raina has undoubtedly been one of India's best T20 batsmen and a proven talent in IPL. But the southpaw endured an up and down season last year, scoring 399 runs in 15 games, only the second time he failed to cross the 400-run mark in the league. Raina looked decent against England in the T20Is earlier this year but in his desire to prove a point, Raina might end up putting too much pressure on himself and that could lead to his downfall.

18:14 (IST)

Baidurjo: Gujarat Lions will be led by a man, who knows all about T20 cricket, India's first T20 international centurion and for the longest time, IPL's leading run-getter until Virat Kohli overtook him in the final last season. I am talking about Suresh Raina, who has 4098 runs in 147 matches at a strike-rate of 138.53. He was dropped from India's ODI team and the central contracts and Raina will definitely look to lead from the front and prove a point.

18:11 (IST)

Arnab: Well, as always let's hope the best team wins on the night. Since the team you were backing on Thursday won, we will start the preview with you making the first point.

18:09 (IST)

Baidurjo: Hello Arnab and I definitely hope it will  a good evening for my team again. Jaddu has had a long season and he is out for the initial stages, but don't worry, Gujarat has enough firepower to outclass the Knights under light.

18:05 (IST)

Arnab: A very good evening to all cricket fans tuning in to this preview today, its matchday 3 in IPL 10 and today we will talk about Gujarat and Kolkata, Baidurjo's sides have had the better than mine over the past two days and I hope to make a comeback tonight. Who better to bet on than the 'Men the in Purple', winners of the title twice, and Baidurjo, how are the Lions doing without their local boy Jaddu??

17:51 (IST)

Hello and welcome to our live preview of the third match of the 10th season of the Indian Premier League, which will see Gujarat Lions take on Kolkata Knight Riders at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.

My name is Arnab Sen, editor of Cricket and today I will try to present a case for Kolkata Knight Riders against Gujarat Lions.

And with me is Baidurjo Bhose, our Cricket correspondent, and he will be making a case for the team from Gujarat, which has loads of batting power.

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The third match of 10th edition of the Indian Premier League gets underway in Rajkot in a while from now and home side Gujarat Lions will open their campaign against two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders.

The match will see two southpaws lead their team out into the middle, both Gautam Gambhir and Suresh Raina have had decorated international careers for India but are currently out of favour, both men a have a point to prove and they have a battery of stars in their arsenals.

We at CricketNext will dissect the upcoming contest through our statistics based analysis where we discuss which team has greater chances of coming out on top.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
see more