IPL 2017: Gujarat Lions v Delhi Daredevils Preview

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The Gujarat Lions and the Delhi Daredevils will be playing for pride when they meet on Wednesday afternoon in IPL action. 

Gujarat and Delhi have staved off last place in the eight-team standings of the 2017 tournament, thanks largely to the severe inadequacies of the Royal Challengers Bangalore and have the opportunity to finish in a respectable sixth - or potentially fifth - spot.

Wednesday's opposition met less than a week ago, when near centurion, Rishabh Pant, decimated a staunch target at the Feroz Shah Kotla, leaving the Lions chasing revenge in this return fixture.

GL v DD | Wednesday, 10 May 2017 | Green Park, Kanpur | 16:30

To Win Match
Lions 1/1 | Tie 35/1 | Daredevils 82/100

Gujarat Lions
The 50th fixture of this year's tournament affords the Lions a penultimate opportunity to right some of the wrongs gathered across a rather dismal campaign. Hampered by the absence of Australian all-rounder Andrew Tye and, recently, New Zealand batsman, Brendon McCullum, they're increasingly reliant on the bench strength.

The recall of fast bowler Dhawal Kulkarni and the return of veteran all-rounder Dwayne Smith to the top order worked wonders in their victory over the Kings XI Punjab on Sunday, suggesting an unchanged XI come their showdown with the Daredevils 72 hours later. Smith and Kulkarani, incidentally, were very successful against the Daredevils in last year's twin fixtures.

Wednesday will bring the first fixture of this year's IPL to Green Park in Kanpur, where Gujarat enjoyed consecutive victories over the Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders in 2016, with Smith - this time with the ball - instrumental on both occasions. He, indeed, is overshadowing the waning Chris Gayle as the West Indian to watch.

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Delhi Daredevils
Delhi have experienced some lofty highs and a few all-time lows recently, flitting between a record successful pursuit against the Lions and an unexpected win over defending champions Hyderabad, to final totals of less than 70 against Mumbai and Punjab. Balance and consistency, then, begs to be found this week.

Captain Zaheer Khan hasn't taken a wicket in any of his last four appearances. Khan's stint on the sidelines due to injury showed that batsman Karun Nair is a very capable stand-in skipper - and perhaps a stronger full-time option. Dropping Zaheer, therefore, wouldn't be entirely untoward - particularly if fellow seamer Chris Morris returns to the XI.

Morris' absence has left the team off-kilter, with his ability with the bat and ball entirely missed. His comeback would probably see Australian pace ace Pat Cummins or fellow South African Kagiso Rabada deemed surplus to requirements. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra, meanwhile, has a point to prove after being overlooked for India's Champions Trophy squad.

Verdict: Gujarat Lions
Gujarat have fashioned a semblance of momentum and, with the most prolific batsman in the 10-season history of the competition as their captain, Suresh Raina and company seem bound for triumph at a relatively unknown venue they successfully grappled with last season.

Written by Jonhenry Wilson for @Hollywoodbets.net

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