Gujarat Lions (GL) will be relieved and reinvigorated as their star player Ravindra Jadeja will take the field in a crucial match IPL 10 match with Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) at Rajkot on Friday. Jadeja, who had been advised a two-week rest period after the series with Australia, will be a definite boost for his team, both with bat and ball. GL have lost both matches so far in the Indian Premier League. They began with a walloping at the hands of Kolkata Knight Riders in their first match, which they lost by 10 wickets. In fact, in two matches, the second being against Sunrisers Hyderabad, the GL bowlers have managed to take only one wicket.
GL, who finished an impressive third in their maiden IPL appearance last year, would be desperate to turn their fortunes around in front of home fans at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
Jadeja has had a terrific home season with both ball and bat for India and his return will definitely boost GL morale.
Another key member, West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, who is recovering from injury, however is doubtful even though he took part in the team's practice session on Wednesday.
They have a strong batting, with the likes of Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch, Jason Roy, Raina and Dinesh Karthik up its rank. But McCullum and Finch have failed to live up to their reputations so far, garnering just 40 and 18 runs respectively in the first two games.
Only skipper Suresh Raina, who struck unbeaten 68 against KKR at home and Dinesh Karthik (47, 30) have shouldered the responsibility in the middle-order.
RPS, on the other hand, started their campaign on a winning note by beating Mumbai Indians before suffering back-to-back defeats against Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils.
Opener Ajinkya Rahane has made a half-century in the first game and would be looking to give a good start alongside Mayank Agarwal.
Skipper Steve Smith, who missed their last match due to an upset stomach and Manoj Tiwary, who lost his father, is expected to return to the playing XI.
The costliest buy of IPL 10, Ben Stokes, has had an average outing so far and Mahendra Singh Dhoni's form too is a concern.
(With PTI inputs)