In the third match of the IPL 2017, Gujarat Lions take on the mighty Kolkata Knight Riders in Rajkot tomorrow. The pitch in Rajkot usually supports batsmen and spin-bowlers. In the Indian domestic circuit, the home team Baroda is a force in this ground. However, IPL is a different ball game. Still, Gujarat has one of the players who have bloomed on this ground. Local boy Ravindra Jadeja plays for Lions. He is not a certainty for the match, as he is nursing a minor injury. Even if he plays, it will be difficult for Lions to stop KKR. The Kolkata team has the all-round strength to play in any conditions. KKR must be the favourites for Cricket betting odds.
Preview – Gujarat Lions
Apart from Jadeja, Lions’ somewhat faded star-cast include Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, and Dwayne Bravo. McCullum and Bravo are well past their best. Raina too falls on that category. A lot depends on Jadeja, Faulkner and Finch. The bowling too has the same over-the-hill look. Remember the good-old Indian pacers Munaf Patel and Praveen Kumar? You can find them together in the Lions dug-out. Add players like Dinesh Karthik and Dwayne Smith to the list. You have well and truly a dad’s army in Gujarat Lions. Don’t put your cricket betting money on them as of now.
Preview – Kolkata Knight Riders
They are one of the few teams that manage to keep their core players from the very start of the IPL. Gautam Gambhir has led the team well, except in some seasons. They will not have the service of Andrew Russell this year, as he is serving his ban following the failure in doping test. KKR has roped in Rowman Powell, a similar hard-hitting West Indian, to cover his absence. Robin Uthappa, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Yusuf Pathan offer them a handy roaster of domestic players. In Sunil Narine, they have one of the all-time best spinners in IPL history.
However, their strength lies in their pace bowling. They can choose any two from Trent Boult, Chris Woakes, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Umesh Yadav. Your cricket betting money should be safe in the hands of their opening bowlers.
It is hard to see Lions winning see. Expect Kolkata Knight Riders to make a winning start.