A depleted Gujarat Titans bowling attack will have to raise its game by quite a few notches if it intends to stop a marauding Sunrisers Hyderabad team fresh from its record total against Mumbai Indians, in the upcoming afternoon IPL match in Ahmedabad on March 31.

Sunrisers are coming here on the back of breaking the ceiling for all time IPL total when they plundered 277 against Mumbai Indians to secure their first win of the season.

First time skipper Shubman Gill’s Titans, who started off with a win at home against Mumbai Indians, on the other hand slipped in Chennai in their previous game.

The profligate Umesh Yadav is no match for injured Mohmmed Shami and that is proving to be a big factor for Titans.

The resounding 63-run defeat affected their net run rate as it plummeted to -1.425, worst among the league’s 10 teams, which could cause some problems towards the business end of the tournament. It can’t be denied that losing Hardik Pandya, who lends necessary balance with his all-round skills has also been a big factor.

Winners and runners-up in the last two seasons, GT’s success under Pandya has centred around one of their batters ability to come up trumps and play a match winning role.

Whether it’s Wriddhiman Saha, David Miller, Pandya, or Rahul Tewatia, one of them has typically ignited the batting lineup. However, in the absence of the inspirational India all-rounder, their batting display appears drab and lacking its usual spark.

Gujarat Titans had a one-day style batting approach chasing Chennai Super Kings’ imposing 207, and barring Sai Sudharsan none could reach 30s.

The likes of Sudharsan, Vijay Shankar look unidimensional, while Gill’s T20 batting will again come for scrutiny, after his knocks of 31 and 8.

That their finisher Miller (12 and 21) is also struggling underscored their slow approach in the middle overs (11-15) where they managed just 34 runs.

They would hope that Miller is able to get his mojo back as they would have to bat out of their skin to match SRH’s batting might.

Tournament dark horses SRH have lit up the IPL with a record-breaking performance at home in their last match.

Their 277/3 against Mumbai in Hyderabad on Wednesday took them past the previous record IPL total of 263/5 set by Royal Challengers Bangalore against Pune Warriors in 2013.

Australia World Cup winner Travis Head (62; 24b) made a stunning debut for SRH, smashing the fastest fifty for the franchise, taking 18 balls for the milestone to give them an explosive start.

The feat was then bettered by uncapped Indian Abhishek Sharma who got to his fifty in just 16 balls.

With the South African duo of Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen too have been in imperious form lower down the order, the likes of Umesh Yadav and Rashid Khan will be tested.

Being an afternoon match, the dry surface may also prove handy for the spinners as Rashid and Sai Kishore will be crucial for either sides.

It’s not just their batting their bowling also looked balanced and the Australian World Cup winning skipper Pat Cummins has shown his ability to utilise his resources well.

Despite a thin spin presence, Cummins did well to use left arm orthodox Shahbaz Ahmed to good effect in dismissing Ishan Kishan inside the power-play.

In the pace bowling front, Cummins has formed a fine partnership with Indian veteran Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who bowled a superb 13th over, giving away just five runs in a game that was primarily dominated by batters.

Cummins then conceded just three runs in the 15th over and also dismissed Tilak Varma against the run of play to turn the course of the game.

On paper though both teams have two points from as many matches but after their batting carnage in Hyderabad, SRH appear strong favourites, while the onus would be on GT batters to raise their game.


Gujarat Titans: Shubman Gill (c), David Miller, Matthew Wade, Wriddhiman Saha, Robin Minz, Kane Williamson, Abhinav Mandhar, B Sai Sudarshan, Darshan Nalkande, Vijay Shankar, Azmatullah Omarzai, Shahrukh Khan, Jayant Yadav, Rahul Tewatia, Kartik Tyagi, Shshant Mishra, Spencer Johnson, Noor Ahmad, Sai Kishore, Umesh Yadav, Rashid Khan, Joshua Little, Mohit Sharma and Manav Suthar.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Pat Cummins (c), Abdul Samad, Abhishek Sharma, Aiden Markram, Travis Head, Wanindu Hasaranga, Marco Jansen, Rahul Tripathi, Washington Sundar, Glenn Phillips, Sanvir Singh, Heinrich Klaasen, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mayank Agarwal, T. Natarajan, Anmolpreet Singh, Mayank Markande, Upendra Singh Yadav, Umran Malik, Nitish Kumar Reddy, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Shahbaz Ahmed, Jaydev Unadkat, Akash Singh and Jhathavedh Subramanyan.

Match starts: 3.30pm.


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