IPL 2016: Gujarat Lions look to get back to winning ways against RCB
Rajkot: Their three-match unbeaten march halted in the previous game, Gujarat Lions would be looking to get back to winning ways when they lock horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore, who are without the services of their hard-hitting batsman Chris Gayle, in the IPL encounter here tomorrow.
Suresh Raina-led Gujarat Lions, one of the two debutant teams in IPL this season, started their maiden campaign with impressive performance in first three games, winning against Kings XI Punjab, Rising Pune Supergiants and Mumbai Indians.
However, the Lions suffered a humiliating 10-wicket loss at home against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last match.
Come tomorrow, they would like to bring their campaign back on track by capitalising on RCB's weak bowling and the absence of destructive opener Gayle, who has gone back to the West Indies to be with his partner Natasha Berridge and new-born son.
The Lions batting would revolve around openers Aaron Finch and Brendon McCullum, followed by the likes of Raina, Dwayne Bravo and Dinesh Karthik.
McCullum is yet to show his full potential, even as Finch had struck three back-to-back half centuries in first three games, failing only against Sunrisers Hyderabad when he could not open his account.
The Lions opening pair had clicked just once in four matches so far, which was against Rising Pune Supergiants, where they notched up 85 runs for the first wicket in less than nine overs.
Tomorrow, the Lions would want Finch and McCullum to give them a solid platform against a formidable RCB batting line-up.
Raina looked in good touch in the last game with a 51-ball 75, although it came in a losing cause, and he would like to continue like that.
The two all-rounders in Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja are also expected to come in handy.
As far as their bowling is concerned, SCA stadium wicket doesn't favour seamers but still the Lions may opt for James Faulkner or Dwayne Smith in place of pacer Dale Steyn.
On the other hand, Virat Kohli-led RCB have had mixed fortunes so far in the tournament, winning two and losing two.
But they would take the heart from their victory over Rising Pune Supergiants at Pune last night.