GT vs SRH: Bowlers in focus as two batting-heavy teams clash in Ahmedabad

This will be the first afternoon game of the season in Ahmedabad. (Source:

After an intense six-hitting showdown against the Mumbai Indians (MI) on their home turf, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will cross roads with last year’s runners-up Gujarat Titans (GT) in Ahmedabad.

Both teams conceded over 200 runs in their last respective games, so their bowling will be in focus. Not always does a team score over 270 runs and end up winning by just 31 runs. While SRH’s batting was exceptional, posting a total of 277/3 in 20 overs – a record in IPL – the bowlers took some beating. However, enough has been said about the brutal assault of SRH batters on MI’s bowlers. But what about their bowling? Because SRH won that game, not many people are talking about them conceding over 250 runs.

They somehow wrestled their way back into the game. The pitch was a belter, and MI had batters who played with intent, but one aspect SRH would want to work on is their bowling. Also, considering that even in their first game against KKR, they conceded over 200 runs.

Since it’s an afternoon game in Ahmedabad, spinners will come into play. Bringing T. Natarajan in place of Umran Malik would be a wise call. Natarajan bagged three wickets against KKR but was left out for the MI game. He looked in great rhythm in the first game, and given that he can bowl in all phases of the game, he should make his return to the XI.

Abhishek Sharma, who became the fastest half-centurion for SRH in IPL history, will be looking to continue his rich vein of form. The uncapped Indian batter overshadowed the likes of Travis Head and Heinrich Klaasen with his power-hitting.

Klaasen has been the standout batter so far this season, while Travis Head showed what values he brings at the top of the order. SRH’s batting looks formidable. There are question marks over their bowlers; it’ll be interesting to see how they respond to the challenge, especially with Wanindu Hasaranga yet to join the squad. However, it won’t be as tough a challenge as they’ve faced in their first two games. Cummins will be looking to silence the crowd in Ahmedabad once again, much like he did the last time he played at the venue. Yes, it was the final of last year’s World Cup.

GT haven’t found their perfect combination yet. Umesh Yadav, who was expected to fill in for Mohammed Shami, hasn’t been up to the mark yet. His inability to pick wickets with the new ball and conceding runs at a higher economy rate is a cause for concern. It’s not just him; even Spencer Johnson has struggled for control at times. He’s new to the circuit, so it’ll take some time for him to adjust, but Umesh must step up.

If GT continues to bowl the way they have in the last two games in the powerplay, then it will be very difficult for them to contain SRH’s batting lineup. Also, there would be some temptation to bring Kane Williamson against his former team. But who will make way for Williamson? That’s a question.

GT has a problem with their combination. SRH’s bowling is not up to the mark and has some holes. On paper, SRH looks like a better unit; their batting is in fiery form, but GT’s home advantage cannot be discounted. All in all, it’s going to be another enthralling contest with so much to look forward to as some of the big T20 stars take the center stage in Ahmedabad.

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