In the 20th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) will be locking horns with Rajasthan Royals (RR) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday. It will be the second game of the doubleheader and this will be an important match for both the teams.
The Lucknow team is now third on the table with 6 points and a win will take their tally to 8 points and KL Rahul’s side can then start thinking of reaching the play-offs. On the other hand, the Rajasthan Royals are coming off a defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore, and the RR under Sanju Samson would not like another slip-up.
A defeat can shackle them to 4 points and among the teams in the bottom half. It would become increasingly tough for them as mathematical calculations like net run rate could possibly come into play at a later stage. So, the RR would be eager to bag two points from the RR vs LSG match, go up to 6, and have some sort of cushion in the race to the play-offs. On that note, we take a look at the three player battles to watch out for when both sides meet for the first time in IPL 2022.
#1 Avesh Khan vs Jos Buttler
Avesh Khan has been on a roll for LSG with seven wickets from four matches at an average of 18.14 and has proven to be effective at both ends of the game. Facing that pace will be Rajasthan’s in-form batter Jos Buttler, who followed up his ton against Mumbai with a half-century against Bangalore. The Englishman is the leading run-scorer in IPL 2022 at the moment with 203 runs from three matches.
#2 KL Rahul vs Trent Boult
This is a contest that KL Rahul has so far dominated, with the LSG skipper being dismissed by Trent Boult just once in nine encounters. However, the Kiwi has picked up five wickets in the tournament so far and is the side’s second-most economical bowler (7.16) after Yuzvendra Chahal (5.25). Rahul has looked fluent so far in the tournament, getting his side off to starts, and he will be keen to get the better of the seamer once again when they meet at the Wankhede.
#3 Quinton de Kock vs Yuzvendra Chahal
The leg-spinner has had the better of LSG opener Quinton de Kock five times in their seven T20 clashes and having him bowl an over in the powerplay might not be a bad ploy. The South African has notched up two fifties in the edition so far, but he does face a stiff challenge with Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin bowling in tandem. With both tweakers proving to be pretty miserly, de Kock might have to work hard for his runs.