Gujarat Lions have been a quality side in IPL 2016, but are presently in an unfamiliar territory after their back-to-back losses in the competition against Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils. The Suresh-Raina led Lions will be keen to get back to their winning ways as they take on Sunrisers Hyderabad at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Friday.
SRH like Gujarat Lions, have lost three matches in the competition. The host will be keen to hand Lions their third straight defeat and climb up the table.
The Gujarat Lions might be prompted to make a few changes from their starting eleven, which featured against the Delhi Daredevils. Their batting looks more or less solid, and may not need any change, with Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, Aaron Finch and Suresh Raina as their big guns.
However, the Gujarat Lions might have to rethink their about James Faulkner, who has not impressed with both the bat and ball, and he might have to be benched. The Gujarat Lions could bring back West Indian Dwayne Bravo, if match fit, as he one of the most lethal bowlers in the T20 format. He can contribute with the bat as well.
SRH will welcome the return of Yuvraj Singh, who is expected to play his first IPL 2016 game, after sustaining an ankle injury in the World T20. His inclusion could mean Deepak Hooda has to sit out for the game as the former Rajasthan Royals player has been below par, scoring 37 runs in seven matches and has only taken a solitary wicket. But Ashish Reddy could also be benched, and that depends on who SRH team management wants to field in the starting XI.
Yuvraj's presence will strengthen SRH's already existing powerful batting line up, which comprises David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson. Yuvraj is a handy bowler as well in the shortest format of the game.
SRH have a wonderful seam attack comprising, Ashish Nehra, Mustafizur Rahman and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, but if they want to bring in another spinner, they can drop Barinder Sran and play leggie Karn Sharma against the Gujarat Lions.
Expected playing XI: Gujarat Lions: Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, Aaron Finch, Suresh Raina(c), Dinesh Karthik(wk), Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja , Dwayne Bravo,Praveen Kumar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Shivil Kaushik
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson, Yuvraj Singh, Naman Ojha(wk), Moises Henriques, Ashish Reddy, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Karn Sharma, Mustafizur Rahman, Ashish Nehra