LSG Predicted XI vs RR, IPL 2022: Star AUS all-rounder may debut as KL Rahul-led Lucknow set sight on 4th straight win
Ahead of the blockbuster game at Wankhede Stadium, we take a look at the probable playing XI for Lucknow Super Giants...
Lucknow Super Giants are off to an excellent start in their first-ever IPL season and they will look to continue the winning run when they face Rajasthan Royals on Sunday. Equipped with many match-winners and Lucknow are placed third in the points table, having won three out of four games. A defeat against fellow newbies Gujarat Titans thwarted their plans but KL Rahul's men retaliated with wins over defending champions Chennai Super Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad and a very formidable Delhi Capitals outfit.
One of the most lethal opening pairs in the T20 tournament, Rahul and Quinton de Kock will look to form a strong partnership. Lucknow also have an array of talented batters in Evin Lewis, Deepak Hooda and young Ayush Badoni. The addition of West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder adds more balance to the side, and Lucknow have also got Krunal Pandya to chip in with some crucial overs.
Lucknow head into the game on the back of a six-wicket win over Delhi. De Kock hit nine fours and two sixes in his 80 off 52 balls while leggie Ravi Bishnoi claimed 2/22 to help Lucknow register a hat-trick of wins. Badoni slammed a winning six over extra cover against Shardul Thakur and the team will hope that he has a breakthrough season.
Lucknow face an intimidating batting unit comprising the likes of Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson but they have bowlers like Bishnoi and Avesh Khan to turn things around. Also, Krishnappa Gowtham, who finished with 1/23 in the last game, will face his former teammates in the exciting clash at the Wankhede Stadium.
Ahead of the blockbuster game, we take a look at the probable playing XI for Lucknow Super Giants...
KL Rahul (c): He perished on just 24 against Delhi but Rahul has got plenty of experience to take on a formidable bowling attack like Rajasthan. His presence at the top will be crucial against Prasidh Krishna and Trent Boult. Lucknow will need every ounce of his experience against the Ashwin-Yuzvendra Chahal spin pair.
Quinton de Kock: The South African was at his destructive best as he shared a 73-run stand with his opening partner Rahul. De Kock's previous franchise is missing firepower in their batting and his performance for Lucknow speaks volumes about his prowess. With two 50-plus scores in four games, he is among the top contenders for the Orange Cap this year.
Evin Lewis/Marcus Stoinis: He has blown hot and cold so far and the Trinidad dasher will seek consistency against Rajasthan. He scored a brilliant 55* against defending champions Super Kings but registered scores of 1 and 5 in his next two outings.
Lewis, however, wouldn't be a part of starting eleven if Marcus Stoinis is available for selection. He wasn't available for the game against Delhi Capitals but Stoinis has completed his three-day isolation period in India. His addition to the squad brings in loads of depth.
Deepak Hooda: A no-brainer! Hooda came to the crease to join de Kock against Delhi and kept the scoreboard ticking. He looks in fine rhythm this year with two half-centuries in four games. He has the ability to shift gears and anchor the innings as well.
Ayush Badoni: The youngster's confidence and batting ability have lent great stability to the team. The rookie showed great composure against Delhi to hit 10 off just three balls and seal a last-over win. Every time he comes in to bat, Badoni impresses everyone with his batting skills and ability to deliver under extreme pressure. Badoni has got 103 runs in four games so far.
Krunal Pandya: He didn't find any big hits but bowled two good overs where he conceded just 12. He had also rolled out an impressive bowling performance against Hyderabad, plucking two wickets to derail the opposition's run-chase.
Jason Holder: He can bowl in crunch situations and contribute with the willow as well. The presence of Holder proves why Lucknow is one of the most balanced sides on paper. His experience will matter the most in tight situations, and Stoinis and Holder show why Lucknow did a commendable job in assembling their team for their first-ever IPL season.
Krishnappa Gowtham: The off-spinner played a crucial role in tightening the screws over Delhi Capitals. Back in 2019, he featured in just seven games for the Royals. Ahead of IPL 2020, he was traded to Kings XI Punjab and he became the richest Indian uncapped player in IPL history next year. Chennai Super Kings secured him for ₹9.25 crore but didn't play a single. After his sparing spells, Gowtham will now be eager to leave his mark this season.
Andrew Tye/Marcus Stoinis: Stoinis might replace one among Andrew Tye or Evin Lewis. But Lucknow can keep Tye in the eleven if they use Stoinis mainly as a batter at the No.3 spot. Tye went wicketless in the previous game and conceded 28 from his three overs.
Ravi Bishnoi: With his variations and googlies, young Bishnoi has been among the standout performers for Lucknow this season. His bowling has earned praise from skipper Rahul and many pundits who have labelled him a star in the marking. He removed David Warner (4) and Rovman Powell (3) in the last game.
Avesh Khan: Avesh, the most expensive uncapped Indian player in the ongoing IPL, picked up a four-fer against Hyderabad. He was expensive against Delhi, conceding 32 runs in his three overs, and the pacer will look to redeem himself against the Royals. The key to success for him lies in handling the pressure.