Lions opt to bowl; Faulkner, Shakib in

TossGujarat Lions opt to bowl v Kolkata Knight Riders
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James Faulkner is in for his first game this season © AFP

Suresh Raina called right as Gujarat Lions elected to bowl against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens. They made two changes to the side that lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday, with James Faulkner and Praveen Kumar replacing Andrew Tye, their highest wicket-taker so far this season, and Shivil Kaushik, the left-arm wristspinner.

Knight Riders strategically brought in Bangladesh allrounder Shakib Al Hasan for the first time this season, perhaps mindful of Brendon McCullum’s poor record against left-arm spinners – he’s been dismissed by them 20 times in T20s, the most for an IPL batsman. That meant a game on the sidelines for New Zealand allrounder Colin de Grandhomme.

Lions are currently placed eighth, but will look to their head-to-head record (they lead 2-1) for inspiration in their quest for victory against second-placed Knight Riders, unbeaten so far at home this season.

Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 Gautam Gambhir (capt), 2 Robin Uthappa (wk), 3 Manish Pandey, 4 Yusuf Pathan, 5 Suryakumar Yadav, 6 Shakib Al Hasan 7 Chris Woakes 8 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Umesh Yadav

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

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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