KL Rahul’s Lucknow Super Giants will be looking to continue their impressive run as they face a buoyant Royal Challengers Bangalore unit at the DY Patil Sports Academy on Tuesday. In their first-ever IPL season, Lucknow have put up impressive performances to win four out of six matches so far. With an in-form top-order comprising the likes of skipper Rahul and Quinton de Kock, Lucknow will look to notch up one more win and consolidate their position in the top-4 of the points table.
But they face a stiff challenge against Bangalore, who have a string of match-winners in their artillery. While their current skipper Faf du Plessis and former leader Virat Kohli have blown hot and cold so far, the lower-order featuring Dinesh Karthik and Shahbaz Ahmed has been phenomenal. Karthik has been single-handedly winning games for the 2016 IPL finalists, who are chasing an elusive title this season. Lucknow have all-rounder Jason Holder and Marcus Stoinis to add depth but a lot will depend on the performance of Avesh Khan and Ravi Bishnoi, who face a stiff challenge from Karthik, who has notched up 197 runs in six innings at a blistering strike rate of 209.57.
Ahead of Match 31 of IPL 2022 at the DY Patil Sports Academy, we take a look at the probable playing XI for Lucknow Super Giants…
KL Rahul (c): He smashed a blistering century in his 100th IPL game and the LSG skipper will look to do an encore. In the previous game against MI, Rahul was sublime with the bat to score an unbeaten 103 off 60 deliveries to power his side to an 18-run win.
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Quinton de Kock: He perished on 24 in the last game but de Kock has scores of 80 and 61 in this season so far. Both Rahul and de Kock are up against the old IPL franchise and the pair will look to get off to a steady start.
Manish Pandey: He seemed to have discovered his lost mojo as he notched up a vital 38 against Mumbai. The senior Indian batter combined with Rahul to add 72 runs for the second wicket. Pandey will look for a similar knock against Bangalore. Incidentally, the entire LSG top-order has been a part of RCB in their respective IPL careers.
Deepak Hooda: He chipped in with an 8-ball 15 against Mumbai. Hooda has shown his ability with the bat, having scored a brilliant fifty against Sunrisers. Lucknow will rely heavily on the all-rounder if the top three batters fail to click.
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Marcus Stoinis: He adds a lot of depth with his wide-ranging abilities. He was sent at the No. 8 position against Rajasthan but came out to bat No. 4 in the last game versus Mumbai. He also plucked the wicket of Ishan Kishan.
Ayush Badoni: The youngster has stormed into the LSG team composition on the back of his impressive batting display. He’s been hailed by pundits and fans as a future star and the 22-year-old Badoni has also been dubbed as ‘Baby AB’ for his 360-batting approach.
Krunal Pandya: Krunal will have an important role to play with the bowl. The Baroda all-rounder has dismissed Karthik twice in seven innings and he can be entrusted with the task of removing the in-form batter.
Jason Holder: The West Indian’s presence shows why Lucknow has got one of the most balanced sides in the 10-team tournament. Holder can bowl in crunch situations and contribute with the bat as well.
Dushmantha Chameera: Chameera was expensive against Mumbai as he bled 48 runs in his four overs. He plucked the prized wicket of Kieron Pollard when it was all but over for the five-time IPL champions. The Sri Lankan pacer will look to redeem himself against Bangalore.
Avesh Khan: The Indian picked up just a single wicket in two games before the ripped through the Mumbai top-order. He first removed Rohit Sharma (6) and then plucked the wicket of Dewald Brevis (31). His final prey was Fabian Allen (8) as Avesh registered 3/30 in his four overs. LSG will expect a similar performance from the pacer.
Ravi Bishnoi: He has risen through the ranks to become a reliable option in the shortest format. He will be crucial against Karthik, who slows down against spinners. He has so far picked up five wickets in six games, and he remains the lone enforcer when it comes to spin bowling. We have seen Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav being given the task of troubling Karthik. Lucknow can do the same with Bishnoi and Krunal in their ranks.