With some incredible batsmen like Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina (Gujarat Lions), Gautam Gambhir and Manish Pandey (Kolkata Knight Riders) set to feature, an entertaining clash is expected in Kanpur. The Gujarat Lions are set for a huge IPL 2016 game against KKR on Thursday.
KKR come into this game with one win in their last three matches and Gujarat Lions , likewise, have been poor, winning just one of their last five.
Here is a look at how the match could turn out in Kanpur.
If KKR bat first: Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa look in great touch, and score 48 runs in the first six overs without losing any wicket. Uthappa opens up more, dealing in boundaries, but loses his wicket in the 10th over. Gambhir also falls in the next over. Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan take their time, but after they get their eyes in, they are in murderous mood as they score 70 runs in the last six overs to score 178 runs in 20 overs.
Gujarat Lions suffer the worst possible start, as Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum are out in the Powerplay. Suresh Raina is trying his best, alongside Dinesh Karthik, but the required rate is always increasing. Raina and Karthik are under pressure, which leads to the skipper losing his wicket. Karthik, for some time, handles the situation well, scoring important boundaries, but wickets are falling at regular intervals. They require 60 runs from four overs, and Karthik is the only person, who can help them win, but the wicket-keeper is dismissed, and GL fall short by 28 runs.
If Gujarat Lions bat first: Smith and McCullum get the ball rolling, with some brilliant hitting, dealing in fours and sixes. KKR are in all sorts of trouble. Even the dismissal of Smith does not contain the run flow as McCullum and Raina go bonkers, and reach 100 runs in the 11th over. Spinners – Piyush Chawla and Sunil Narine – produce some world-class bowling, as the GL batsmen's dominance is quelled. Just when it looks like the Gujarat Lions will lose their way completely, a late onslaught from Bravo helps them reach 160 runs.
Gambhir and Uthappa have been good for KKR in IPL 2016, and they continue their run-scoring ways, getting off to a decent start, without taking much risks. Uthappa plays the attacking role, with Gambhir taking up the anchor role. Despite the wicket of Uthappa, Gambhir and Pandey are in cruise control. Pandey plays his natural attacking game, hitting some massive sixes, scoring 66 runs from 35 balls, which helps KKR reach the target in the 19th over. Gambhir remains unbeaten on 60 runs.