Time: 24 Feb, 9.30 AM IST
Venue: Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot
Expect the wicket to help the batters for the first two days. Thereafter, the spinners are likely to have an impact, and batting in the fourth innings could be tricky. It’s a bat-first wicket.
Probable XI for Gujarat: Kathan Patel, Priyank Panchal (c), Bhargav Merai, Manprit Juneja, Het Patel (w/k), Rujul Bhatt, Roosh Kalaria, Chintan Gaja, Arzan Nagwaswalla, Siddharth Desai, Karan Patel
Probable XI for Kerala: Ponnam Rahul, Rohan Kunnummal, Jalaj Saxena, Sachin Baby (c), Vathsal Govind, Vishnu Vinod (w/k), Sijomon Joseph, Unnikrishnan Manukrishnan, Basil Thampi, S Sreesanth, Eden Apple Tom
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
Consistent scoring in domestic cricket helped Priyank Panchal earn the India call recently, where he got 96 for India A against South Africa A. His early dismissal will be the key for Kerala. Back in 2017/18, Panchal was the leading run-scorer (542) for Gujarat.
Any moisture on the wicket will be exploited by Chintan Gaja. Even though Gujarat lost to Madhya Pradesh, his eight-wicket haul stood out. Moreover, his ability to hit lusty blows down the order makes him a useful pick in fantasy leagues.
84 with the bat and 6 catches with the gloves: this was Het Patel’s contribution in his last game. Probably the best fantasy pick in the wicketkeeper category.
Jalaj Saxena bats in the top-order and also contributes with the ball. Although he didn’t impress with the bat, Saxena dismissed eight Gujarat batters in the 2019-20 season.
It was a low-scoring game, when these two sides last met. In the end, Manprit Juneja’s half-century in the second innings proved to be crucial for Gujarat.
Kerala will rely on Basil Thampi for early breakthroughs. He will have fond memories of running through the Gujarat middle- and lower-order a few years ago.
Openers Ponnam Rahul (147) and Rohan Kunnummal (107) set the tone for Kerala with a 201-run partnership against Meghalaya last week. It will be interesting to see if the duo can repeat their heroics.
Kerala will also be boosted by the presence of Eden Apple, who walked away with the Player of the Match award for his six-wicket haul in his last outing.
Kerala beat Meghalaya in convincing fashion last week. On the other hand, Gujarat went down against Madhya Pradesh. However, when the two teams last met in the 2019-20 season, Gujarat beat Kerala by 90 runs.