Sunrisers Hyderabad started IPL 2017 with a bang, defeating Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening match of the competition. The defending champions will be keen to carry that same form against Gujarat Lions as the two teams prepare for the encounter at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Sunday.
The home team will be aware that the Suresh Raina-led Gujarat Lions, who lost their first match to Kolkata Knight Riders, will come back hard, which makes this clash interesting. Both the teams have played one match each, and they are still searching for their best XI. So it will be interesting to see who the franchises pick for their second match of IPL 2017.
More importantly, Gujarat needs to balance their squad against SRH. Their bowling looked weak in the first match. Gujarat Lions trusted on their Indian bowlers to deliver the goods against KKR, which cannot be the case against the strong batting line-up of SRH.
The Gujarat Lions will need to make changes on their bowling front. They could get in one of the most-talked bowlers, Basil Thampy, or if they are looking for an experienced bowler, Munaf Patel could be a good bet. Gujarat could also get their Australian fast bowler Andrew Tye or all-rounder James Faulkner, but for that they need to remove one foreign player from their last playing XI. Faulkner could be a better option.
In their batting line-up, Gujarat can do away with Dwayne Smith as they have Brendon McCullum, Jason Roy and Aaron Finch to score big runs.
However, it is not known if the SRH will be keen to make any changes from their last playing XI, which defeated RCB handsomely. They were brilliant in all departments of the game. The bowlers took wickets at regular intervals after the batsmen provided a solid start.
SRH skipper David Warner will once again want his bowlers, particularly Ashish Nehra and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, to use the new ball to their advantage. Their ability to swing with the new ball came in handy to get them wickets in IPL 2017. They have solid all-rounders like Moises Henriques and Ben Cutting, who could both roll their arm over to great effect.
And with batsmen such as Yuvraj Singh and Shikhar Dhawan in good form last time around, the SRH stars will be keen to deliver in their second match as well.
On paper, SRH look a better squad and a balanced unit as compared to the Gujarat Lions, who have to improve in all departments to script their first win of IPL 2017.
Confirmed playing XI
SRH: David Warner (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Moises Henriques, Yuvraj Singh, Deepak Hooda, Naman Ojha, Ben Cutting, Bipul Sharma, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra.
Gujarat Lions: Brendon McCullum, Jason Roy, Suresh Raina (C), Aaron Finch, Dinesh Karthik, Dwayne Smith, Dhawal Kulkarni, Praveen Kumar, Tejas Baroka, Shivil Kaushik, Basil Thampy