Match 3 IPL 2017 (2017-04-07)
Both sides reach the playoffs last season and both were knocked out by eventual champions Hyderabad. The Lions won both the round-robin matches between the two sides.
Kolkata have lost Andre Russell from last season where he was their top wicket taker. His bowling and big hitting batting will be missed this year. Chris Woakes from England is an interesting replacement for him.
KKR will also be without their star allrounder Shakib Al Hasan at the start of season.
Gujarat Lions got to the play-offs last season largely due to powerful batting at the top of the order and chasing down totals. Their bowling attack relied on Dhawal Kulkarni and Dwayne Bravo to take the wickets. With Bravo and Jadeja missing at the start of the season their attack looks very weak.
They have chosen to add to their already strong overseas opening batting options with England's Jason Roy. They now have Dwayne Smith, McCullum, Finch and Roy.
They cannot all play as it will leave their bowling extremely weak and they already have World class Indian batsmen Raina and Karthik.
Both teams prefer chasing with the Lions winning 80% of the matches where they batted second last season. KKR won 64% of matches chasing. The Lions only won 17% of matches where they had to defend a total and with no addition to their bowling strength they will struggle to defend again this season.
The Rajkot stadium has only been used for 5 IPL matches and 4 of them have been won by the chasing team. These factors combined make it an obvious tip to back the team batting second.
GL Suggested best team: 1. Dwayne Smith 2. Brendon McCullum 3. Suresh Raina 4. Dinesh Karthik 5. Aaron Finch 6. James Faulkner 7. Manpreet Gony 8. Praveen Kumar 9. Dhawal Kulkarni 10. Pravin Tambe 11. Shivil Kaushik
MI Suggested best team: 1. Robin Uthappa 2. Gautam Gambhir 3. Chris Lynn 4. Darren Bravo 5. Manish Pandey 6. Yusuf Pathan 7. Chris Woakes 8. Sunil Narine 9. Rishi Dhawan 10. Piyush Chawla 11. Umesh Yadav
Last season he played in 12 matches and scored 324 runs. When he opened with McCullum they regularly got their team off to a flyer. He had a high strike rate of 147 runs per 100 balls.
He scored 274 runs in 9 matches for Islamabad in the PSL in February. He struggled on occasion to get the ball away striking at only 113 through the tournament.
He is in fine form recently smashing a 100 off 31 balls in Hong Kong last month.
He is preferred to Jason Roy because of his experience in the IPL. Last year he scored 354 at a rate of 135. He could bat down the order if they decide to open with Finch.
After a good BBL where he skippered the Brisbane Heat side he struggled in the PSL failing to score a 50. The Lions will be hoping he can return to form. If he or Smith make a bad start Roy is waiting to replace them.
He captains the team again after a successful debut season for the franchise last year. He scored 399 runs last season at a strike rate of 128. He played two great innings in winning performances against KKR and Mumbai at the end of the season to help his team reach the playoffs.
He returned to the Indian T20 side against England in January. He had a successful series scoring 34, 7 and 63.
He scored 335 last year at a rate of 126 steadying the middle order on several occasions. He will keep wicket.
After suffering an injuring mid-season he came back in the middle order last season. He scored 393 runs at a rate of 131. He is likely to play here again this season leaving the opening to Smith, McCullum and Roy.
He captained Australia in the recent losing T20 series against Australia scoring 43, 12 and 53. It is worth noting that in the 73 T20 League matches he has played since 2014 he has a winning record of 63% batting second and only 35% batting first.
He will play as an allrounder as Dwayne Bravo is out for the start of the season. Last year he scored 77 runs and took 2 wickets in the 7 matches he played in. His bowling was expensive going at 9.8 runs an over.
He bowled well in the third T20 match against Sri Lanka that Australia won taking 3 for 20 in 3 overs. He has been out of form with the bat for a while.
He has had a three year break from the IPL but with both Bravo and Jadeja missing he might get his chance to play today.
He took 9 wickets with an economy rate of 7.9 last season.
He was the Lion's top wicket taker last year with 18 and economy rate of 7.4. He also scored 27 useful runs last season at a good rate of 169.
He played for India in their tour of Zimbabwe and one One-Day match against New Zealand last year. He impressed in the third T20 against Zimbabwe taking 2 for 23.
He only played 7 matches last year and took 5 wickets at an expensive 9 runs an over.
He also played 7 matches last year and took 6 wickets with an economy rate of 8.4.
He was KKR's second top scorer last season with 394 runs striking at 136.
He topped the KKR run chart last year with 394 runs at a run rate of 122. He often anchored the innings last year and allowed the hitters to strike around him.
He returned to the Indian Test side for two tests recently. He scored a 50 against New Zealand.
Last season he only played 2 matches managing just 25 runs.
He was in amazing form in BBL before he was called up to the Australian side. He missed some matches for them due to injury.
He is rated 4th in the Cricsq T20 batting rating ratings. In all T20 league matches he strikes at 148. He strikes at 170 runs per 100 balls against seam bowling but only 107 against spin.
He scored 248 runs at a rate of 136 in the 11 matches he batted in last year.
He is out of form in One-Day and T20 cricket failing to score a 50 in his last 10 innings.
He had a great season last year scoring 361 runs at 146. He did not bowl many overs and picked up 1 wicket.
He played 11 matches last season and scored 182 runs striking at 127.
He will be playing in his first IPL. He had been good with both bat and ball for England recently in Test and One-Day cricket. He has not played T20 cricket for England since 2015.
In the 13 T20 Blast games he has played for Warwickshire in the last 3 years he has a win rate of 69%.
He took 11 wickets last year at an economy rate of 7.2.
He is currently rated 4th in the Cricsq T20 bowling ratings. His overall economy rate in T20 league matches since 2014 is a very miserly 6.3 runs per over.
He was part of the losing West Indies T20 side against Pakistan recently but managed 3 for 22 in the 2nd match.
He played for the 4 matches for Delhi last season. He took 3 wickets at a good economy rate of 7.6. He is preferred to Trent Boult as an overseas player due to his better economy rate.
Last season he had an economy rate of 7.8 runs an over and took 11 wickets.
He took 10 wickets last year but was expensive with an economy rate of 9.
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