IPL 2022 LSG vs RR, 63rd Match Preview: Lucknow's opportunity to qualify for playoffs with win over Rajasthan
Given their strong net run rate, a victory for Rajasthan, too, will all but catapult them into a playoff spot.
Lucknow's quirky change
Lucknow Super Giants made a strange move of dropping Ravi Bishnoi who hasn't been in the best of form and replacing him with Delhi's right hand batter and right arm off break bowler Karan Sharma.
However, the all-rounder did not get an opportunity to bowl at all. It was perhaps more of a lesson for Bishnoi than an attempt to blood-in Sharma.
LSG collapse against Gujarat
Lucknow Super Giants, who had a streak of four victories, wobbled in their last match against Gujarat Titans, losing by a heavy margin of 62 runs as the team bundled out for just 82 following Gujarat Titans' target of 145.
Their bowling was quite good as always with the pace bowling duo of Mohsin Khan and Avesh Khan standing out. However, their batters found the Gujarat Titans bowling too hot to handle on a tough pitch at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium in Pune.
LSG's multiple options
KL Rahul is their top run scorer with 459 runs from 12 matches but hasn't had luck going his way in the last couple of games. He would expect to have a move on alongside South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.
Deepak Hooda is Lucknow's go-to man in the middle order and will look for some support from Marcus Stoinis, Ayush Badoni and Krunal Pandya.
With Deepak Hooda, Marcus Stoinis, Krunal Pandya, Jason Holder, Dushmantha Chameera, Mohsin Khan and now Karan Sharma in their ranks, Lucknow have no dearth of bowling options. What they need is their batsmen to rise to the occasion.
Will Hetmyer return?
Rajasthan Royals' strange move of promoting Ravichandran Ashwin to number 3 after a couple of early wickets in their last match did not pay off.
Although Ashwin scored his maiden T20 half century, Rajasthan were not able to accelerate when they needed to and fell short of the par score as they suffered an 8-wicket defeat against Delhi Capitals.
If first-time father Shimron Hetmyer is not back, Rassie van der Dussen will continue to fill in for the West Indian.
Predicted Playing XIs
Rajasthan Royals - Jos Buttler, Devdutt Padikkal, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Karun Nair, Shimron Hetmyer/Rassie van der Dussen, Riyan Parag, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Prasidh Krishna, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Sen
Lucknow Super Giants - KL Rahul (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Deepak Hooda, Marcus Stoinis, Ayush Badoni, Krunal Pandya, Karan Sharma, Jason Holder, Dushmantha Chameera, Mohsin Khan, Avesh Khan
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