The Gujarat Lions and the Rising Pune Supergiants will both target a second victory in IPL 2016 when the two teams meet in Rajkot on Thursday. Neither teams will short on confidence, having impressed in their IPL debuts.
RPS picked up the more impressive win, easing past the Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2016 opener, and with MS Dhoni at the helm of affairs, the Pune franchise will go into this match as the favourites. That is not to say, the Gujarat Lions do not have a chance. They showed against the Kings XI Punjab, what a well-rounded outfit they are, and on their day, they are capable of beating any team in the tournament.
Dwayne Bravo was the star of the show with the ball for the Lions, picking up a four-for, which was studded by two brilliant deliveries that completely bamboozled top batsmen in Glenn Maxwell and David Miller. The Gujarat Lions have a potent bowling lineup, with the right mix of pacers, spinners and mix-it-uppers.
The batting at the top is pretty good as well, what with Aaron Finch showing his form with a nice half-century, while Brendon McCullum, one of the multiple former Chennai Super Kings players in this match, will fire during the tournament. In Suresh Raina, they have one of the best IPL batsmen of all-time, while Dinesh Karthik looked in good touch in the match against the Kings XI Punjab.
After that, however, the Rajkot franchise will rely on their all-rounders and the youngster Ishan Kishan, and it is that potentially soft underbelly that the RPS bowlers will target.
Against the Mumbai Indians, the Rising Pune Supergiants got the top order out cheaply and did not rest on their laurels after that, picking up wickets consistently to ensure their batsmen would not have too many to chase. If the bowlers can do a similar job again, and with the batting might RPS have, particularly at the top of the order, this could end up being another big win.
But to do that, the Pune team will need their spinners to step up as well. Skipper Dhoni was questioned over the underutilisation of R Ashwin in the opening IPL 2016 match – the offspinner was also only given two overs in the World T20 semifinal against the West Indies – and this game, on a pitch that is expected to give turn, might just be the avenue Ashwin needs to get back to form.
If Ashwin has one of those wicket-taking days, the Gujarat Lions will struggle; but then they have a couple of solid spinners in their lineup as well, so it might all just come down to which set of spinners bowls better.
Where to Watch Live
Match 6 -- Gujarat Lions vs RPS -- of IPL 2016 is scheduled for an 8 p.m. IST (3.30 p.m. BST, 10.30 a.m. ET) start. Live coverage of the match on TV will be on Sony Max, Sony Six, Sony Six HD, Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD. Hotstar and Starsports.com will provide the online live streaming options for the match between RCB and SRH.
OSN Sports Cricket is the place to be to watch the IPL 2016 match live in the Middle East and North Africa, while the action can also be live streamed on OSN Cricket Play. Supersport and Supersport Live Video will give the TV and online live streaming options for audience in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa.
Viewers from across the world can also watch Gujarat Lions vs Rising Pune Supergiants by online live streaming on Cricketgateway.