Match 20: Gujarat Lions v Royal Challengers Bangalore
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Start time 2000 IST
Struggling to find form after three losses in four matches, Gujarat Lions would look to make the home advantage count when they take on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Royal Challengers have a 2-1 lead against Lions, including a 144-run victory, the largest margin in the IPL. Royal Challengers lost their one meeting in Rajkot, though, where Lions chased down 181. The Lions had a dream debut last season by finishing third. But, they are struggling this year, losing back to back games, against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at home and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) away, before registering their first win of IPL 10 by beating Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) at home.
Aaron Finch will reunite and is expected to take Jason Roy’s place in Lions’ XI. Dwayne Bravo had continued his rehabilitation in Rajkot while the team was on the road and he returned to full training with the squad on Monday. According to team sources, he is still a doubtful starter against RCB as he might need another couple of days to achieve full fitness.
Royal Challengers is still trying to find the right combination. They have tried a different opening combination in each game so far and this, coach Daniel Vettori admitted, has not allowed their younger batsmen lower down the order to settle into roles, increasing the pressure on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. Chris Gayle and Shane Watson’s form has not helped either.
Ideal Playing XI
Gujarat Lions: Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, Suresh Raina (capt), Aaron Finch, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Praveen Kumar, Basil Thampi, AJ Tye, Munaf Patel
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Stuart Binny, Pawan Negi, Tymal Mills, Sreenath Aravind, Yuzvendra Chahal, Samuel Badree.
Match prediction: Given the high pressure on both teams, the game is expected to be hard to predict. Given that I am an RCB fan, I hope RCB finds its groove.