Newbies Lucknow Super Giants and oldies Chennai Super Kings both lost their opening games of IPL 2022, but neither side would be fussed just yet. In fact, Super Giants’ captain KL Rahul went on to say they “couldn’t have started the campaign in any better way”. Obviously, it is early days in the tournament but the main reason behind Rahul saying so was Super Giants’ middle-order stepping up after a top-order collapse.
On paper, the middle order is one of their weak areas but Deepak Hooda and Ayush Badoni played crucial knocks and helped them recover from a precarious 29 for 4. One thing Rahul might rue is his use of Dushmantha Chameera. Chameera was Super Giants’ most threatening bowler on the night but didn’t even get to bowl his full quota.
Super Kings anyway have a reputation for being calm and composed irrespective of the results. But they too found positives in the defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders. MS Dhoni struck an unbeaten 50 off 38 balls and Dwayne Bravo picked up 3 for 20 from four overs. Both have retired from international cricket and their striking form straightaway is a good sign for the franchise.
Both the teams lost their respective first games in this tournament, so both will look to win this one.
Lucknow Super Giants (LSG)
Despite looking one of the most balanced sides on paper in the ongoing edition, the debutants, Lucknow, failed on various fronts in their opening game. However, despite defeat against a spirited Gujarat Titans side, there were a few positives for the KL Rahul-led side in the match as well. Deepak Hooda’s all-round show and Ayush Badoni’s impressive fifty on his IPL debut gave something for LSG fans to cheer in a rather forgettable match. The middle-order did perform well for the Lucknow franchise but against CSK’s slightly inexperienced bowling attack.
Probable XI: KL Rahul (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Manish Pandey, Evin Lewis, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Hooda, Ayush Badoni, Avesh Khan, Mohsin Khan, Ravi Bishnoi, Dushmantha Chameeras
Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway failed to give Chennai a fine start in the powerplay while the seasoned campaigners in Robin Uthappa failed to convert the starts they got. Captain Ravindra Jadeja also looked like a mere shadow of himself with the bat while former captain MS Dhoni’s unbeaten fifty and his finishing touches in the death overs helped CSK post something decent on the board.
Against Lucknow, CSK’s top-order will be looking to put up a better show. The availability of Moeen Ali for selection in the playing will be a big boost for the Yellow Brigade. Chennai would also be hoping for a better bowling performance and some more brave captaincy from Jadeja.
Probable XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Robin Uthappa, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja (c), MS Dhoni (wk), Shivam Dube, Mitchell Santner, Dwayne Bravo, Adam Milne, Tushar Deshpande
Fantasy Suggestion 1:
Lokesh Rahul (C), Quinton de Kock, Ruturaj Gaikwad (VC), Robin Uthappa, Deepak Hooda, Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya, Moeen Ali, Dwayne Bravo, Dushmantha Chameera, Avesh Khan
Fantasy Suggestion 2:
Lokesh Rahul, Quinton de Kock, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Deepak Hooda (C), Evin Lewis, Devon Conway, Ravindra Jadeja (VC), Moeen Ali, Dwayne Bravo, Dushmantha Chameera, Avesh Khan