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Not stars, but crucial players in RCB-Gujarat Lions IPL qualifier clash

A look at few underrated players, who can have a say in the first qualifier.

ipl Updated: May 24, 2016 17:34 IST
Siddhartha Sharma
Siddhartha Sharma
Hindustan Times
Virat Kohli,Suresh Raina,IPL 2016
Gujarat Lions skipper will hope that Dwayne Smith gives his team a great start at the top.(PTI)

Both Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Lions are full of superstars, anyone of whom can single-handedly win the match for their team. But they also have a set of underrated players, who too can have a say in who wins Qualifier 1 in Bengaluru on Monday. Here’s a look:

Shadab Jakati: The Gujarat Lions left-arm spinner has played five games but taken only two wickets. The numbers might below par but he remains a handy option against right-handers because of his accuracy. RCB have a number of right-handers in their playing eleven and Jakati could be used to stop them from scoring freely.

Dhawal Kulkarni: Although he has turned out for India, the tall seamer is still finding his feet in the shortest format. With 14 wickets this season, he has paired well with the seasoned Praveen Kumar. Kulkarni can move the ball and if he gets his out swing going, it may trouble the star Bangalore batsmen.

Dwayne Smith: The opener has been an impact player for Lions this season. Smith has won Gujarat a few matches and has also set up a few chases. But he has not done that on a regular basis. If Smith fires, Lions could find themselves in the comfort zone.

Stuart Binny: The Karnataka all-rounder has been a key member of the RCB team. A handy middle-order batsman, Binny is expected to take the new ball. His gentle outswingers will trouble the likes of Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum, who also like the ball to come on to the bat.

Sreenath Aravind: The left-arm seamer has settled in the RCB team. He opens the bowling but his ability to keep it tight in the death overs has done wonders for the team. Plus he bowls yorkers too, a potent weapon in the end overs.

First Published: May 24, 2016 16:49 IST