Hosts Gujarat Lions will look to continue their dominance over KKR as their march into the Jungle of IPL will begin today.So far, both teams have played against each other twice and Suresh Raina's Gujrat Lions has outplayed Gautam Gambhir's KKR by winning comfortably in both fixtures.
Gujarat Lions with players like Brendon MacCulllum, Jason Roy, Suresh Raina would like to start the season on a positive note before 'Rajnikanth' of cricket, Ravindra Jadeja joins the squad to fit in the role of a spin bowling all-rounder.
At the other hand, Gautam Gambhir's Knight Riders would like to change the course of two consecutive loses. But the absence of team's important player, Caribbean all-rounder Andre Russell can hurt Kolkata badly as he was a vital cog in captain Gambhir's scheme of things.
It would be interesting to see if Russel's replacement Collin de Grand-homme, who has a T20 strike rate of 171.04 fits in his boots.
The Knight Riders will also miss the services of in-form Umesh Yadav in initial matches with Chris Woakes or Nathan Coulter-Nile to spearhead the pace attack.
In the batting order, Knights are full of domestic riders like Yusuf Pathan, SuryaKumar Yadav, Manish Pandey and Robin Uthappa who are all capable of putting up a big total on board. With Sunil Narain and Shakib Al Hasan along with their pace battery, KKR's defence also looks solid.
However, For Lions, it would not be that difficult to pair Jason Roy with McCullum in the opening slot with some good finishers down the order. They also have Aaron Finch and James Faulkner, who both can turn the match in their favour on their own.
Lions will also have home advantage to roar loud and captain Suresh Raina himself is a pleasant bonus for Lions.