IPL 2023: Inconsistent Lucknow Super Giants faces Rajasthan Royals test

With three wins and two losses so far, LSG is a team overflowing with talent but it has missed a trick or two at times to find itself on the losing side twice

By PTI

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Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson bats during a practice session in Jaipur on Tuesday. — PTI
Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson bats during a practice session in Jaipur on Tuesday. — PTI

Published: Tue 18 Apr 2023, 9:05 PM

Last updated: Tue 18 Apr 2023, 9:07 PM

Blowing hot and cold, Lucknow Super Giants will look to tick all the boxes and return to winning ways when it clashws with table-topper Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday.

With three wins and two losses so far, LSG is a team overflowing with talent but it has missed a trick or two at times to find itself on the losing side twice.


The middle overs

In the last match against the Punjab Kings, Lucknow couldn't get enough runs in the middle overs, leaving it 10-15 runs short in the end.


While KL Rahul returning to form with a sizzling 56-ball 74 is a big positive, LSG will rue the scoring opportunities it squandered in the middle overs.

Lucknow has no dearth of power in its batting, with Kyle Mayers at the top and Nicholas Pooran and Marcus Stoinis in the middle capable of pulverising any opposition.

While Mayers did his job in the powerplay, he, perhaps, needs to think about building partnerships after the first six overs, especially with Deepak Hooda struggling to get runs at the top.

Bringing Bishnoi too late

Against PBKS, LSG also committed the mistake of bringing in the talented Ravi Bishnoi too late, allowing the batters to take the chase deep into the final over.

Bishnoi is a wily customer with a mean googly, and skipper Rahul may think of using him in the middle as well, instead of holding him back for the death overs.

Krishnappa Gowtham and Krunal Pandya too have done well in their respective roles.

Among the fast bowlers, LSG possess the fiery pace of Mark Wood and Avesh Khan. Yudhvir Singh Charak too will look to carry on his good run after a sensational two-wicket haul on debut against Punjab.

Well-oiled machine

However, for Lucknow, it will be an uphill task to disturb the applecart of the Royals, who have performed like a well-oiled machine with a hat-trick of wins to grab the top spot in the IPL standings.

RR possesses a formidable batting line-up with the likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson ensuring that the side has a good start and has enough runs in the powerplay.

While Buttler, with 204 runs has been their highest run-scorer, Jaiswal has struck at 149.45 during his 136 runs so far in the IPL.

Samson rising to the occasion

And, when the duo failed the other day against GT, skipper Samson rose to the occasion, bailing out the team with a 32-ball 60 as West Indian Shimron Hetmyer completed the job with a 26-ball 56.

Devdutt Padikkal too has come up with cameos but Riyan Parag hasn't been able to grab the opportunities.

Quality spinners

RR also has some quality spinners, with the trio of Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Zampa and Ravichandran Ashwin making life difficult for the opposition.

It was the spinners who had won them the match against Chennai Super Kings, while pace spearhead Trent Boult did the job against Delhi Capital by taking those two wickets in the first over to derail their chase.

Medium pacer Sandeep Sharma too has used all his experience, taking wickets regularly during his spells.

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