Large Image: Gujarat Titans and Sunrisers Hyderabad on either side
Monday night in Ahmedabad could see one team make the playoffs in back-to-back years since it started playing in the IPL, and the other fell short for a third straight. If Gujarat Titans win, they will be the first team to qualify for the playoffs this season – they do so with a game in hand – while Sunrisers knock out Hyderabad with two games left.
But even if Sunrisers cause a stir, they will barely be alive and depend on other outcomes for their own fortune. Titans were so good that two defeats in their last four games kept them at the top of the table. Sunrisers have had the exact same run in many previous games, but before that were erratic enough to now finish ninth.
The hosts pretty much have everything going for them: a solid opening pair, an in-form mid-order, finishers on fire and the highest wicket-taker of the season so far. Compare that to the Sunrisers’ sliding campaign, and you can tell the difference between the sides: only one of their batsmen has averaged over 30 after at least eight innings, and only one bowler has at least ten wickets, compared to four of Titans.
But Sunrisers know that a collective performance and win against a regular side they haven’t played this season will not only flicker their dim hopes, but potentially distort the equation for other teams.
Gujarat Titans LWWWW
(Last five completed matches, most recent first)
Sunrises Hyderabad LWLWL
Team news: Little left
Titans fast left arm Josh Little is still away for national duty and will miss this game. Sunrisers should have all players available for selection.
The big question
Which South African would come out on top in Ahmedabad?
163 to vote
Impact Player Strategy
Titans swapped Mohit Sharma with Shubman Gill in their loss to Mumbai Indians, and will likely continue to do so depending on whether they bat or bowl first.
GT probably XII: 1 Shubman Gill2 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 3 Hardik Pandya (capt), 4 Vijay Shankar, 5 David Miller, 6 Abhinav Manohar, 7 Rahul Tewatia, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Alzarri Joseph, 10 Noor Ahmad, 11 Mohammed Shami, 12 Mohit Sharma
Sunrisers had brought in Vivrant Sharma for Anmolpreet Singh against Lucknow Super Giants, though the former failed to bowl after coming in at the end of their innings. If Vivrant is left out against Titans – he has yet to bat in this tournament and has only bowled two overs in two games – then they could trade Anmolpreet with T Natarajan or vice versa.
SRH probably XII: 1 Anmolpreet Singh2 Abhishek Sharma, 3 Rahul Tripathi, 4 Aiden Markram (capt), 5 Glenn Phillips, 6 Heinrich Klaasen (wk), 7 Abdul Samad, 8 Vivrant Sharma, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Marco Jansen, 11 Mayank Markande, 12T Natarajan
Statistics that matter
Location and conditions
Ahmedabad has scores of 175 and above as he batted first in five out of six matches so far. And the two Titans home defeats are both more or less jailbreaks by the opposition: the first by Rinku Singh and the other by Ishant Sharma. As for the weather, it is expected to be hot and humid.
Himanshu Agrawal is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo