In today’s IPL clash, Sanju Samson’s Rajasthan Royals (RR) will lock horns against KL Rahul’s Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
RR have been on a winning run and are currently at the top of the points table with 8 points, winning four out of last five matches. The team is coming from a 3-wicket triumph over defending champions Gujarat Titans. By doing so, RR has established that its one of the strongest contenders for the trophy this year.
On the other hand, LSG is at the second position on the table with 6 points, winning 3 out of five games so far. LSG would look to get back to its winning ways after suffering a defeat in the last match against Punjab Kings, where Sikandar Raza’s heroic performance led to Lucknow losing the game.
Key players for RR: In the batting department, Jos Buttler would be Rajasthan's main player. Though Butler was dismissed for a duck in the match against GT, he has three half-centuries to his name this year in five games he has played. The England batter has a strike-rate of 163.20 this year. When in form, Butler can single-handedly win the game for RR.
Next comes Shimron Hetmyer who had a wonderful time with the bat in the last match as he smashed 56 off 27 balls batting at number six. Hetmyer is doing the perfect job of a finisher this year for RR. Batting at a strike-rate of 184.85, Hetmyer has scored 183 runs in five matches so far.
Apart from these two, Sanju Samson and Yashasvi Jaiswal are the other two who give strength to the middle order.
And in bowling department, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and pacer Sandeep Sharma will be the players to watch for. Chahal has been a wicket-taking bowler for RR this season, as he has 11 scalps to his name in 5 matches. Same goes for Sandeep Sharma, the right-arm medium pacer who had a figure of 2/35 in the last match against GT.
Key players for LSG: KL Rahul, Kyle Mayers, Marcus Stoinis and Nicholas Pooran are the four batters who can make things tough for RR.
Rahul is in a good form as he smashed 74 off 56 balls in the last match against PBKS. Similarly, Kyle Mayers, who has still not been replaced by Quinton De Kock, is having a good show with the bat in his first season.
Mayers is batting with a strike-rate of 168.00 in this IPL and as an opening batter he has given good starts to the team.
In the middle order, Marcus Stonis and LSG’s star buy this season, Nicholas Pooran, have been really good against the pacers.
In the bowling department, Mark Wood and Ravi Bishnoi will be the key players for Lucknow.
Pitch report: Surprisingly, the Sawai Mansingh pitch is a bowlers' paradise and both pacers and spin bowlers will have a key role in the match.
No team has ever recorded a 200+ score in all the 47 IPL matches played here so far. The last IPL game was played here in 2019.
Team winning the toss should opt to bowl first because teams batting first have won only 15 out of 47 matches here. The average first inning score here is 157.
Who has the edge? Rajasthan has an upper hand in the match as in the previous two encounters they have defeated Lucknow.
Probable Playing XIs:
RR: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson ©, Devdutt Padikal, Dhruv Jhurel, Shimron Hetmeyer, Jason Holder, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Yuzvendra Chahal, Sandeep Sharma, Murugan Ashwin.
LSG: Kyle Mayers, KL Rahul, Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya, Marcus Stoinis, Nicholas Pooran, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jaydev Unadkat, Mark Wood, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan.