IPL 10: GL vs KKR Preview | Watch Live Streaming on hotstar.com, Hotstar app
Rajkot: The star-studded Gujarat Lions (GL) is all geared up to take on very-consistent Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their first Indian Premier League season 10 (IPL 10) encounter scheduled to begin at 8 pm on the Saurashtra Cricket Association ground here on Friday.
Suresh Raina-led Lions, who ended at the top of the table with 9 wins out of 14 matches in the league stage of the previous edition of the cash rich league, encompasses a number of match winners in form of Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch, Dwayne Smith, Dwayne Bravo and Raina himself. They can also depend on the 18-year-old Ishan Kishan who has been excellent with the bat in the recently concluded domestic season.
GL would surely miss their very reliable left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who has been rested for the initial stage of the tournament following an extremely hectic Test season for India, recently. In his absence, Shadab Jakati is expected to lead his team's spin attack.
Death-over specialist Dwayne Bravo is expected to be a precious asset for Gujarat, while Dhawal Kulkarni and Manpreet Gony are likely to lead their pace attack.
With so many aggressive players and an equally potential bench-strength, Gujarat Lions look to be a greatly balanced side, which undoubtedly will be a tough competition for KKR who were ousted in the Eliminator in the ninth edition of razzmatazz tournament.
Shahrukh Khan-owned KKR has been amongst the top performers over the past few seasons and have also clinched the IPL trophy twice. The Gautam Gambhir-led team has also been amongst the most unchanged squads over the years.
The main strength of KKR is the understanding they share with each other, and that remains clearly evident in the matches. Gambhir and Robin Uthappa have been opening the innings for the team and have done quite well. Manish Pandey has been exceptionally well at No. 3, but has been out of form recently.
Yusuf Pathan is always given different roles in the batting order according to the situation, while all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan gives strength to their middle-order. They, however, have suffered a major jolt due to Andre Russell's exit from the tournament, but Suryakumar Yadav, who has attained enough experience over the years, can be handed over additional responsibilities for improving team's chances in the race for the trophy.
After batting, KKR has evenly poised bowling attack which is decorated with the bowlers like Trent Boult, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Shakib Al Hasan, the very talented Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla.
In head-to-head encounters, GL has the edge over KKR as the former had defeated the latter in both the matches they played against each other in the last season of the tournament.
So, do not miss the live action starting from 8 pm onwards followed by an energetic performance by Tiger Shroff on Sony Pictures Network. The match and the third opening ceremony will be available live on hotstar.com and Hotstar mobile application.