IPL 2023: Gujarat Titans seek turnaround, Lucknow Super Giants aims top spot

The other match sees Mumbai Indians take on the Punjab Kings at the Wankhede


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Lucknow Super Giants captain KL Rahul (left) shares a light moment with Shubman Gill of Gujarat Titans. — Lucknow Super Giants Twitter
Lucknow Super Giants captain KL Rahul (left) shares a light moment with Shubman Gill of Gujarat Titans. — Lucknow Super Giants Twitter

Published: Fri 21 Apr 2023, 11:02 PM

Defending champion Gujarat Titans would look to shrug off the defeat in the previous outing and get its mojo back when it clashes with Lucknow Super Giants, who will be eager to keep the winning momentum going at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Saturday.

While the Titans will look to start afresh after the three-wicket loss to the former champion Rajasthan Royals, LSG got a confidence-boosting 10-run win against the Sanju Samson-led side to climb to the second spot in the points table. Both teams have been a tad inconsistent this season, losing two games each, although the Titans has played a match less than LSG.

Struggling to defend totals

The Titans, fourth in the league table, has struggled to defend totals this season. Mohammed Shami has been a consistent wicket-taker and has looked potent in the powerplay, but more is expected of Alzarri Joseph and Josh Little. Skipper Hardik Pandya could have been at his best with the ball, having picked only one wicket. 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 a 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 Shubman Gill, David Miller, and Sai Sudarshan striking the ball well.

Formidable batting line-up

But, the reigning champion will have its task cut out against LSG, which boasts of a formidable batting line-up. LSG has a reasonable amount of power in its batting, with Kyle Mayers, Nicholas Pooran and Marcus Stoinis capable of pulverising any opposition. Mayers has been in sensational form at the top, while Pooran and Stoinis are doing the job in the middle order.

Hooda yet to hit gear

Skipper KL Rahul's form is a little concerning. He has batted with a strike rate of 114.79 this season. All-rounder Deepak Hooda has yet to play the 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.

In Mark Wood, Avesh Khan and Yudhvir Singh, LSG also possesses a good pace department. Debutant Naveen-ul Haq sizzled in his maiden game against RR and will look to continue in the same vein. The Titans, however, may have a slight psychological edge, having defeated the Super Giants on both occasions last season. The match will be played during the day, removing dew from the equation.


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