Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) will take on Punjab Kings (PBKS) in match number 21 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Saturday, April 15. This will be the second match of the double header. LSG go in having registered a thrilling one-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Bengaluru in their previous match. PBKS, on the other hand, need to pick themselves up after consecutive losses to Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Gujarat Titans (GT).
1. KL Rahul vs Arshdeep Singh
LSG captain KL Rahul has got a few runs in IPL 2023, but he won’t be too pleased with his rate of scoring. He himself admitted the same after the last game. In four matches so far, he has scored 8, 20, 35 and 18, which is well below par for a player of his calibre. Rahul will be desperate to set the record straight when LSG take on Punjab.
PBKS left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh has carried on his great form in IPL 2023. Even as some of the other bowlers in the team have struggled, the 24-year-old has claimed seven wickets in four games. He has been among the wickets in all the matches that Punjab have played. Can he knock over Rahul early?
2. Shikhar Dhawan vs Mark Wood
PBKS skipper Shikhar Dhawan is the current Orange Cap holder in IPL 2023. In four matches, he has smashed 233 runs at an average of 116.50 and a strike rate of 146.54. He had a rare failure in the last match as he was out for 8. Punjab have been heavily dependent on Dhawan to score in the ongoing edition. Will he shine again?
At the start of the innings, Dhawan will be up against the pace of Mark Wood. The LSG pacer, who began with a five-fer against Delhi Capitals (DC), has continued to look threatening. After a three-fer against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), he kept things tight against RCB. He will look to run in hard and knock over Dhawan.
3. Nicholas Pooran vs Harpreet Brar
LSG batter Nicholas Pooran played a stupendous innings against RCB. His 62 off 19 balls against Bangalore not only stunned the opposition but also turned the game on its head. After a number of years of struggle and learning, Pooran finally seems to have found his mojo in the IPL.
Slow bowlers have troubled Pooran in the past. Left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar might not be in the same league as some of the other big names, but he does a decent job within his limitations. He picked up the wicket of Hardik Pandya against the Gujarat Titans (GT). Can he find a way past Pooran?
4. Jitesh Sharma vs Ravi Bishnoi
PBKS keeper-batter Jitesh Sharma has played a few fine cameos in the middle and lower order. He has scored quick 20s in three of the four matches that the team has played so far. He will look to continue batting in the same attacking mode.
LSG leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi has been among the wickets and has impressed again. He has claimed six scalps so far. He went wicketless against RCB, going for 39 runs in his four overs. Sharma will look to attack Bishnoi, who will be confident of coming up with a counter.
5. Ayush Badoni vs Kagiso Rabada
Ayush Badoni did a great job as an impact player in the win over RCB. He came in and hammered 30 in quick time to ensure Pooran and Marcus Stoinis’ half-centuries did not go in vain. He will once again be key to LSG in the lower order.
Kagiso Rabada came in and bowled a decent spell against Gujarat Titans. He got the wicket of Wriddhiman Saha to become the fastest bowler to 100 IPL scalps. He will look to come up with his yorkers and short ones to stop the Badoni onslaught.