IPL: Lucknow Super Giants eye top spot against Gujarat Titans
NEW DELHI: Lucknow Super Giants will be eager to keep the winning momentum going when they clash with defending champions Gujarat Titans in Lucknow on Saturday.
In their last match, LSG got a confidence-boosting 10-run win against the Rajasthan Royals to climb to the second spot in the points table.
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With Kyle Mayers, Nicholas Pooran and Marcus Stoinis capable of pulverising any opposition, LSG have no dearth of power in their batting. Mayers has been in sensational form at the top while Pooran and Stoinis doing the job in the middle order.
With a strike rate of 114.79 this season, skipper KL Rahul’s form is a little concerning. All-rounder Deepak Hooda is also yet to play an impactful innings he is capable of.
Talented leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi and veteran Amit Mishra are doing well for LSG in the spin department while Krunal Pandya has also put in a match-winning performance.
LSG have good pacers in Mark Wood, Avesh Khan and Yudhvir Singh Charak and debutant Naveen-ul Haq sizzled in his maiden game against RR and will look to continue in the same vein.
The Titans will look to start afresh after the three-wicket loss to the Rajasthan Royals.
The Titans, who are fourth in the league table, have struggled to defend totals this season.
Mohammed Shami has been a constant wicket-taker and has looked potent in the powerplay but more is expected of Alzarri Joseph and Josh Little.
Having picked only one wicket so far, skipper Hardik Pandya also hasn’t been at his best with the ball. Pacer Mohit Sharma, however, has done well in the two games he has played.
Rashid Khan has spearheaded the spin department, but against the Royals when he was taken to the cleaners by Samson, GT had no answer but to hand debut to 18-year-old Afghan wrist spinner Noor Ahmad, who did well under pressure, albeit in a losing cause.
The Gujarat batting department looks sorted with likes of Shubman Gill, David Miller, Sai Sudarshan striking the ball well.
Both teams have been a tad inconsistent this season, losing two games each although the Titans have played a match less than LSG. But the reigning champions will have their task cut out against LSG, who boast of a formidable batting line up.
The Titans, however, may have a slight psychological edge having defeated the Super Giants on both occasions last season.
Dew won’t be a factor as the match is set to be played during the day.
Lucknow Super Giants: KL Rahul (c), Kyle Mayers, Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya, Amit Mishra, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Naveen ul Haq, Ayush Badoni, Avesh Khan, Karan Sharma, Yudhvir Charak, Yash Thakur, Romario Shepherd, Mark Wood, Swapnil Singh, Manan Vohra, Daniel Sams, Prerak Mankad, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jaydev Unadkat, Marcus Stoinis, Ravi Bishnoi and Mayank Yadav
Gujarat Titans: Hardik Pandya (c), Srikar Bharat, Alzarri Joseph, Josh Little, Abhinav Manohar, David Miller, Mohammed Shami, Darshan Nalkande, Noor Ahmad, Urvil Patel, Rashid Khan, Wriddhiman Saha, R Sai Kishore, Sai Sudharsan, Pradeep Sangwan, Dasun Shanaka, Vijay Shankar, Mohit Sharma, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Odean Smith, Rahul Tewatia, Matthew Wade, Jayant Yadav, Yash Dayal
(With PTI inputs)
Watch IPL 2023: It’s KL Rahul vs Hardik Pandya as LSG eye top spot against Gujarat Titans