The South African keeper-batter knows how to find the boundaries in the early overs and will look to get the team off to a great start again.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will face the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the 12th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Monday. Hyderabad got off to a horror start in the competition as they were literally hammered by the Rajasthan Royals (RR) by 61 runs. Bowling first, they conceded 210 runs as their bowlers looked listless. The batters too failed to make an impact as they were restricted to 149 for 7. Lucknow began their campaign with a loss to the Gujarat Titans (GT). They made a good recovery from 29 for 4, but a lot of damage had been done. Then, after conceding 210 against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), they put up an excellent batting effort to chase down the target. Here are five player battles in the offing in the SRH vs LSG clash.

1. KL Rahul vs Umran Malik: LSG captain KL Rahul loves getting off to a fluent start. He is not in the Jos Buttler mode, someone who just comes in and goes crash bang wallop. At the same time, he has the sublime strokes in the book to take advantage of the powerplay restrictions. This is why he holds the record for the fastest fifty in the IPL (14 balls). Although he doesn’t have any weakness in his batting as such, Rahul does have a tendency to be hurried on by quicker bowlers. Umran Malik is definitely pacy. He will look to unsettle the LSG captain at the top, having tasted some success against RR.

2. Rahul Tripathi vs Avesh Khan: Rahul Tripathi was dismissed for a duck in the first match for SRH against RR. Hence, he will be keen to make amends against Lucknow. Tripathi is an aggressive batter, who is adept at making use of the field restrictions. He can get cheeky as well. The right-handed batter will be up against Avesh Khan at the start of the innings. Although he has been among the wickets in the two matches so far, the pacer hasn’t been as threatening so far as he was last season. Avesh would be keen to make early inroads by sending back Tripathi cheaply.

3. Kane Williamson vs Ravi Bishnoi: If SRH are to do well in the IPL this season, they will need a massive contribution from Kane Williamson. The New Zealand captain will be under a lot of pressure to deliver after the disaster last season and also the poor start to this year’s campaign. But Williamson is someone who loves taking on challenges. The best player of spin in the team, he will be confident in tackling Ravi Bishnoi. The LSG leggie has been put under pressure in recent games and will be attacked again. He did well against CSK, but Williamson will have the upper hand over him in the one-to-one battle. Can the young spinner turn the contest his way?

4. Quinton de Kock vs T Natarajan: The battle of the lefties. LSG opener Quinton de Kock played a stellar role in the team’s win against CSK. It was his knock that set up the huge chase. The South African keeper-batter knows how to find the boundaries in the early overs and will look to get the team off to a great start again. SRH left-arm seamer T Natarajan hasn’t looked the same bowler since returning from injury. He will look to get his yorker’s spot on, but he has a point to prove for sure.

5. Evin Lewis vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar: West Indian batter Evin Lewis may not be the most consistent batter in the T20 format. However, as he showed in the game against CSK, on his day, he is unstoppable. The left-hander took on the bowlers and cracked some mighty sixes, making a tough target look rather easy. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has not been at his best for SRH in recent seasons. But he has been their most experienced death bowler. The franchise will go to him again. Can he utilize his skills to deliver?

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