The new entrants, Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) will be locking horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the eliminator of the playoffs of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The KL Rahul side finished third on the points table and in their last league match, Lucknow registered a nail-biting win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) last week.
LSG will be expected to bring back regulars like Krunal Pandya and Ayush Badoni for the high-intensity fixture after being benched for their last league game. On the other, Royal Challengers Bangalore also registered a dominating win over Gujarat Titans (GT) in their last league stage match though which they managed to end on the fourth place.
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The Faf du Plessis-led side was impressive in both the departments and the franchise will be immensely relieved with their talisman Virat Kohli returning to form. Mohammad Siraj can be expected to make a comeback into the playing XI at the expense of Siddharth Kaul. Earlier this season, LSG and RCB locked horns with each other once and Bangalore had registered a comfortable win by 18 runs owing to a brilliant 4-wicket spell of Josh Hazlewood.
Lucknow Super Giants (LSG)
Rahul has enjoyed favourable match-ups against Harshal Patel, Josh Hazlewood and Siraj in the IPL, scoring 125 off 70 balls versus the trio. Meanwhile, Krunal Pandya has found some success against Karthik, dismissing him twice and giving away just 24 runs off 28 balls. RCB also have just one left-hander in the top seven and that could bring Krunal into the equation. Incidentally, RCB have one of the worst records against spin this season, averaging 22.82 and scoring at a rate of 7.49. LSG have based their template on a slew of the hit-the-deck pace bowlers pounding it hard into the pitch and they look set to continue with the same template.
After a promising start, Ayush Badoni has found runs hard to come by and could miss out. Krunal sat out of LSG’s previous match because of a niggle but is set to return to the XI.
Probable XI: Quinton de Kock, KL Rahul (c), Evin Lewis, Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya, Marcus Stoinis, Jason Holder, Krishnappa Gowtham, Mohsin Khan, Avesh Khan, Ravi Bishnoi
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)
De Kock thrives on width where he can free his arms but he would be against the consistent Josh Hazlewood, who has dismissed him thrice in the IPL. In this season, when LSG met RCB, the tall pace bowler pounded it on a back of a length and extracted nifty movement away from the southpaw to force him to edge one to the cordon. Glenn Maxwell would be another option versus de Kock up front.
If the surface is offering any grip, then the spin duo of Shahbaz Ahmed and Wanindu Hasaranga could throw a spanner into LSG’s rather vulnerable middle order. Hasaranga has snared the most wickets in the middle overs (17 scalps) this season while Shahbaz choked LSG in the league phase, returning figures of 0 for 25 from his quota of overs.
Harshal did split webbing on his bowling hand. If he doesn’t play, then Akash Deep could find a place in the XI.
Probable XI: Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis (c), Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, Dinesh Karthik, Mahipal Lomror, Shahbaz Ahmed, Wanindu Hasaranga Harshal Patel/Akash Deep, Siddarth Kaul/Mohammed Siraj, Josh Hazlewood.
Fantasy XI Suggestion 1:
KL Rahul (VC), Quinton de Kock, Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis, Deepak Hooda, Jason Holder, Glenn Maxwell (C), Wanindu Hasaranga, Avesh Khan, Mohsin Khan, Harshal Patel
Fantasy XI Suggestion 2:
KL Rahul, Quinton de Kock (C), Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis, Marcus Stoinis, Jason Holder, Glenn Maxwell, Krunal Pandya, Wanindu Hasaranga (VC), Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel