On the 10th anniversary of the IPL, Nostagamer will be running a series about fans’ opinions for the IPL match of the day. Predictions will be taken on a wide variety of topics which include match winners, half-centuries, sixes, fours, wickets, catches & much more.
Today, we bring you the fan predictions for the IPL match between Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiant.
Who will win?
The Lions have been in abysmal form this season, having taken a combined totla of 1 wicket in their two games so far. Contrast this with their form last season, where they won both their matches against the Supergiants, having chased down mighty targets of 164 and 196. Hopefuly, the return of Shri Ravindra Jadeja to the bowling attack will provide some punch to the the bowlers of Gujarat.
What must concern the Lions would be the return of Steve Smith to the Supergiants, adding to the all-star lineup of Rahane, Dhoni and Stokes. The absence of the Aussie skipper had led Pune to collapse to a total of 108 against Delhi in the last match.
With their batting line-up, the team from Pune are definitely capable of putting up a defendable total. But, Gujarat need to post their first win of the season, and will count on Jadeja and possibly Faulkner to catch Pune out.
The fans feel Gujarat will ring the changes and bring the win, but only narrowly.
Fan verdict : Gujarat to win – 50%
How many wickets will Tahir take?
Options: 2 or less, 3 or more
It simply boggles the mind that Imran Tahir went unsold at the IPL auctions this year, compared to the Rs. 12 crore shelled out by Bangalore for Tymal Mills. Only an injury to Mitch Marsh prompted Rising Pune Supergiant to snaffle the Pakistan-born South African leggie. He promptly set about doing what he does best, by taking 28/3 against Mumbai Indians in their first match. Brought on by Steve Smith when the Mumbaikars briefly threatened at 41/0, Tahir first bowled Parthiv Patel around the legs, and then sent Rohit Sharma and Jos Buttler back to the pavilion in quick succession.
But, to close followers of the game, Tahir is hardly a surprise. Gone are the days when the South African bizarrely claimed he had kept Tahir from making his debut in India only to use him as a surprise weapon in the World Cup in the subcontinent. Today’s Tahir is a world beater, currently occupying the No. 1 rank in the ICC ranking for bowlers in ODIs and T20s. In T20 internationals in 2017, he has taken 11 wickets in 4 matches at a measly average of just 7.18, even managing a sensational 5-for against New Zealand.
For the regular fans, he has simply carried his tremendous form into favourable conditions. It is only the power that be in the IPL that have turned a mind-boggling blind eye.
Fan verdict : Imran Tahir to take less than 3 wickets – 75%
Who will score more runs?
Options: Steve Smith, Brendon McCullum
The answer to this question has the potential of swinging the match in their respective team’s favour.
In Imran Tahir and Steve Smith, the team from Pune have 2 potential matchwinners in any game, and that is not even counting the likes of Dhoni. This is not to say that they are decidedly light-weight without their skipper, but they simply folded like a pack of cards trying to chase a mammoth total against Delhi Daredevils, and Smith was instrumental in landing their first victory of their IPL season by hitting a stylish 84* in their opening match against Mumbai Indians.
The pressure is definitely more on McCullum than on Smith. For the team that lost both of its opening fixtures, the batting strength seems to revolve around the trident of McCullum, Raina and Finch. Gujarat got Lynnched in their opener against Kolkata despite a big knock by Raina, but there are simply no excuses for the way their awesome trio got steamrolled by the young Afghan, Rashid Khan in their 2 match. McCullum has much to do, and enough time to do it in, to keep up his T20 international batting average of 35.66, which, by the way, is a full 10 points ahead of Steve Smith, who currently averages 21.55.
The fans are siding with Smith for this one.
Fan verdict : Smith to score more than McCullum – 60%
All stats and public opinions have been sourced from the newest fantasy-cum-predictions game in the market - Nostragamus. You can check it out here. Do join in for maximum fun and a chance to win prizes along the way. The app is available on Android.