Cricket

IPL 2017: Kings XI Punjab vs. Gujarat Lions – Match Preview and Fantasy Picks

Gujarat Lions players walk off

A rejuvenated Kings XI Punjab is all set to host a struggling Gujarat Lions side at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali on Sunday. Kings XI Punjab have got a new life in the tournament as they are coming into this game on the back of two successive victories over the Delhi Daredevils and the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The Gujarat Lions, on the other hand, are struggling to end up on the winning side as each and every opposition has trumped them in close encounters even after good performances. When the two sides will meet on Sunday, sparks are expected to fly as the Kings XI Punjab will be eager to maintain their winning momentum for a play-off berth and the Gujarat Lions will be desperate to get back to winning ways.

Kings XI Punjab Team News

The Kings XI Punjab side has been in a good run of form in the past couple of matches and that has been mainly due to their superb performance from a rather average bowling unit. Sandeep Sharma has been their main man with the ball having claimed 7 wickets in the past couple of matches. Mohit Sharma has supported him well bowling tight spells. The spin bowling all-rounders, Axar Patel and Glenn Maxwell, have also dried up the runs in the middle overs along with picking up wickets. All in all, it has been a complete team effort in terms of bowling. Their batting unit, on the other hand, has quite clicked yet. There have been individual performances but the team has lacked a complete batting effort from other members and that has

Their batting unit, on the other hand, hasn’t quite clicked yet. There have been individual performances but the team has lacked a complete batting effort from other members and that has cost them quite a few matches. Hashim Amla has been their anchor with the bat and the team will be expecting similar performances from him. Big things are also expected from Martin Guptill and Shaun Marsh. And they will be expecting their lower order in Glenn Maxwell and Shaun Marsh to carry on the good work. The playing XI is expected to remain the same in this match as the current formation has been working wonders for them.

Also Read: Kings XI Punjab vs Gujarat Lions – Probable XI

Gujarat Lions Team News

The lions have been on the receiving end for the last couple of matches despite good performances. A narrow loss in the super over to the Mumbai Indians and another loss to the Delhi Daredevils even after posting a total of 200+ runs on the board reveal that they have been lacking the much needed finishing touch. The batting unit has reasonably been good with most of their players being in good form with the bat. However, it has been their bowling unit that has made them suffer so much. Even if they found a weapon in Andrew Tye, a shoulder injury to him meant Gujarat lost his services as well. The only potent weapon with the ball they have now is Basil

The only potent weapon with the ball they have now is Basil Thampi and he has been lacking support with the ball at the other end. Although Ravindra Jadeja has found form both with the bat and the ball, it hasn’t been enough for Gujarat.  The form of James Faulkner has been a worry. Moreover, the fact that Brendon McCullum has been ruled out of the remainder of the tournament, has made things worse from them. It remains to be seen who they are going to bring in at his expense in the next match. Otherwise, the rest of the team will remain the same.

Fantasy Picks:

Top Batsman- Hashim Amla

He may have got out cheaply in the previous match. But, don’t make the mistake of keeping him out of your fantasy side in this match as he will be up against a weak Gujarat bowling unit. Expect him to return a lot of runs and points in this match as he has done in the earlier matches of the tournament.

Top Bowler- Sandeep Sharma

7 wickets in the previous two matches and that too at an economy rate of less than six! Do you need more reasons to draft him in your side? Especially when one of Gujarat’s main batting weapon in McCullum will be unavailable?! I don’t think so! Just get him into your team.

Top All-Rounder: Axar Patel

Patel has been KXIP’s most valuable player in the tournament so far playing crucial knocks both with the bat and ball. He played a match defining knock of 37* off just 17 balls and then came back to claim three wickets for just 11 runs with the ball in the previous match. He is in rich vein of form and his confidence in himself will only produce better performances in the upcoming matches.

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