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Kings XI and Lions in search of re-ignition

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Decoding the bowling woes of Kings XI and Lions (3:37)

Should they try variations? Are they being led poorly by their captains? Ajit Agarkar and Brad Hogg try to make sense of it all (3:37)

Match facts

Gujarat Lions v Kings XI Punjab
Rajkot, April 23, 2017
Start time 1600 local (1030 GMT)

Head to head

Overall:

Lions and Kings XI have a 1-1 record against each other, winning their respective away games in 2016.

In the news

Gujarat Lions' victory at Eden Gardens has boosted morale in their camp. Captain Suresh Raina returned to form with a match-winning 84 and said his wanted to "restart" their season. Whether Dwayne Bravo, who on Tuesday said he was "a couple of games away" from full fitness, makes an appearance or not remains to be seen.

Lions' beefed-up batting fired in Kolkata, and may have to keep performing above potential, given their bowlers have underwhelmed.

Kings XI Punjab began their season with back-to-back wins, and have lost four on the bounce since. They seemed to spark back to life in their last game, only for Mumbai Indians to demolish a target of 199 in 15.3 overs. Eoin Morgan and David Miller were dropped for that game. Manan Vohra too was absent, due to illness, and if he has recovered he could take back his role as opener and Shaun Marsh could be pushed to No. 3.

Both sides have almost reached a stage where anything less than a win would hamper their qualification chances.

The likely XIs

Kings XI Punjab 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Manan Vohra, 3 Shaun Marsh, 4 Glenn Maxwell (capt), 5 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Mohit Sharma, 9 Sandeep Sharma, 10 Varun Aaron, 11 Ishant Sharma

Gujarat Lions 1 Brendon McCullum, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Suresh Raina (capt), 4 Dwayne Smith, 5 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 6 Ishan Kishan, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 James Faulkner, 9 Praveen Kumar, 10 Dhawal Kulkarni, 11 Basil Thampi

Strategy Punt

  • Axar Patel may be asked to bowl more than one over in the Powerplay. He has a healthy record against all of Gujarat's overseas players in the IPL. Axar has dismissed Brendon McCullum twice, conceding 35 runs off 36 balls, he has dismissed Dwayne Smith once, giving away 11 off 12 balls and, though he hasn't dismissed Aaron Finch, he has kept him to only 10 runs off eight balls.

Stats that matter

  • Shaun Marsh has scored only 15 off 27 balls against Praveen Kumar

  • Lions have only taken 20 wickets in six games - the fewest of all teams this season. To put that in perspective, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has taken 16 wickets all by himself.

  • Kings XI bowlers are only marginally better, taking 26 wickets. These two teams are the only ones conceding more than nine runs an over.

  • Lions have the worst economy rate in the Powerplay (10.05) and middle overs (9.38) in IPL 2017. On the other hand, Kings XI have the worst economy rate (12.40) in the last five overs.

  • Mohit and Sandeep are the main bowlers for Kings XI in the slog overs, and both have gone at more than 12 an over. Of the 81 balls they have sent down, 13 have gone for sixes.

  • Rajkot has been the best batting ground in IPL 2017 - teams score at a run rate of 9.88 and every wicket costs 46.45 runs

  • McCullum has a strike rate of 200 against Ishant Sharma in the IPL, scoring 74 off 37 balls. Mohit Sharma, meanwhile, has dismissed McCullum twice in seven balls.

Fast hands DK

100

Dinesh Karthik is the first wicketkeeper to 100 dismissals in the IPL