Suresh Raina’s return could not have been better-timed as Gujarat Lions, jolted by the tournament’s biggest ever defeat, seek to revive their campaign against Kolkata.
The Knight Riders will be handicapped by the absence of in-from all-rounder Andre Russell, and Gujarat Lions will look to capitalise on the void at the Green Park, which will be hosting its first-ever IPL match. The 28-year-old limped off the field midway through their match against Royal Challengers Bangalore with a suspected injury to his left leg and did not travel with the squad that reached the city last evening.
In the pecking order, KKR are placed in third position with 14 points but have a game more than second-placed RCB, who humbled them at Eden Gardens.
Lions, too, were humiliated by RCB, experiencing a 144-run defeat last Saturday.
Blazing centuries from AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli left the Lions attack bruised and battered, and a shaken batting line-up was sent packing for 104 runs. The time has come for Lions to regroup and the presence of Raina, who missed his first-ever IPL game since the inaugural edition in 2008 because of the birth of his first child, could work in their favour.