Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 has so far been all downhill for Gujarat Lions (GL) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Match No. 20 will see Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli-led sides clash at the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) Stadium in Rajkot. Both teams started off with wins, but now bear the brunt of a string of defeats. Gujarat lost to Mumbai Indians (MI) by 6 wickets, while Bangalore pulled off a 27-run loss from the jaws of a win against Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS). Gujarat and Bangalore, who were cursed with injuries to their star players in the initial stages, now looked more settled. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD, Gujarat Lions vs Royal Challengers Bangalore – Match 20
The head-to-head record stands in favour of RCB with 2 wins from 3 games. The only win for Gujarat came at Rajkot in the last season, where they won by 6 wickets in a last-over thriller. The Royal Challengers Bangalore booked their place in the IPL 9 final after beating Lions in Qualifiers 1 by 4 wickets. For Gujarat, opening duties will be taken care by Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith. Both players have so far had a hit and a miss season for the Lions. Another player who will be expected to make a comeback will be Aaron Finch, who missed out due to unavailability of his kit-bag. Even though Jason Roy played a cameo of 7-ball 14, he is wasted at No. 6.
Captain Raina has so far been in decent form, and he will be eager to continue with his rich form. Dinesh Karthik forms the nucleus of the side this season, given his form. Ravindra Jadeja will be expected to shine with the ball after having a poor game against Mumbai Indians. Gujarat Lions are unlikely to change their Indian-trio pace attack of Praveen Kumar, Basil Thampi and Munaf Patel. Andrew Tye will again be expected to stem the flow of runs and snatch wickets.
Likely XI: Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch, Suresh Raina (c), Dwayne Smith, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Praveen Kumar, Andrew Tye, Basil Thampi, Munaf Patel
Kohli and his troops will finally want to get a win under their belt having played 5 matches already. Against RPS, their top-order got start but was unable to convert that into big innings. The likes of AB de Villiers, Shane Watson and Kedar Jadhav need to come good for their side as alone Kohli may not be able to get them across the winning line all the time. With Mandeep Singh being completely out of form the team management would be tempted to rope in Sachin Baby.
Bowling duties will be marshalled by Adam Milne and Samuel Badree. Milne, who came in for Tymal Mills showcased better line and length as compared to his more recognised teammate. Badree continued to be miser in his economy, while Sreenath Aravind’s return to form is an additional bonus for the side. Pawan Negi will act back-up act to Badree and co.
Likely XI: Virat Kohli (c), Sachin Baby, AB de Villiers, Kedar Jadhav (wk), Shane Watson, Stuart Binny, Pawan Negi, Samuel Badree, Adam Milne, Sreenath Aravind, Yuzvendra Chahal
Gujarat Lions: Suresh Raina (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, Praveen Kumar, Manpreet Gony, Dhawal Kulkarni, Aaron Finch, Shadab Bashir Jakati, Jason Roy, Shivil Kaushik, Dwayne Bravo, Munaf Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, Jaydev Shah, Pradeep Sangwan, James Faulkner, Akshdeep Nath, Andrew Tye, Chirag Suri, Basil Thampi, Ishan Kishan, Nathu Singh, Shubham Agarwal, Tejas Baroka, Pratham Singh, Shelley Shaurya.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Kedar Jadhav (wk), Pawan Negi, Mandeep Singh, Stuart Binny, Tymal Mills, Sreenath Aravind, Samuel Badree, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Adam Milne, Sarfaraz Khan, Shane Watson, Iqbal Abdulla, Travis Head, Sachin Baby, Avesh Khan, Tabraiz Shamsi, Praveen Dubey, Aniket Choudhary, Billy Stanlake, Vishnu Vinod.