IPL 2017: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Gujarat Lions, 5 factors of winning
Sunrisers Hyderabad and Gujarat Lions will clash at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad after contrasting starts to their IPL 10 campaigns. While Sunrisers brushed aside Royal Challengers Bangalore in the tournament opener, Gujarat Lions were hammered by an IPL record opening stand between Gautam Gambhir and Chris Lynn.
Lions' bowling attack sans Jadeja and Bravo looked pedestrian and the bat that did a lot of talking in the Big Bash League rose to prominence in the IPL. Lynn was unstoppable and Raina looked clueless against his breathtaking attack. They can't afford another slip-up early in the tournament.
Sunrisers, on the other hand, could not have asked for an easier start to their tournament. Bangalore had de Villiers and Kohli missing and the Hyderabad franchise walked all over them. They play Gujarat Lions, who are missing two of their premier all-rounders, next and unless a major hiccup happens, they should win the game. Here are five keys to the match:
#1 With the bat
Sunrisers have always relied on Warner and Dhawan to give them electric starts. They did not need Warner in the first game but they cannot always depend on Yuvraj or Henriques to bail them out.
For Sunrisers to win, Warner will have to go hammer and tongs at the start before at least one of Yuvraj, Henriques and Hooda adds the finishing touches. Dhawan looked in sublime touch in the Deodhar Trophy and the first game but with Gujarat Lions having good opening bowlers in Praveen Kumar and Dhawal Kulkarni, Dhawan cannot be trusted.
Gujarat Lions have a tough task to bat against one of the best attacks in the IPL (even without Mustafizur Rehman). To their credit, they scored 183 against another decent bowling attack, Kolkata Knight Riders.
For them to win, one of their openers has to bat along with Raina or Karthik till the 12th over at least. That would also mean combating the likes of Rashid Khan and Moises Henriques in the middle overs. Jason Roy showed signs of dominating for England against India in the T20s recently and he might be the trump card against Bhuvneshwar and Nehra.
If Roy can get Gujarat to a rollicking start, they have enough firepower in Finch, Raina, Karthik and Dwyane Smith to take them to a good score.