Big picture – RCB begin long streak of away games
The effect of travel fatigue is underrated. It can’t be easy playing IPL games up until midnight and fly out the next day, before that same old routine for another game on the third day.
Teams were spared of this over during the Covid-19 era, but the return of home-and-away contests have added another layer of intrigue. Royal Challengers Bangalore have played six of their eight games so far at home and have felt a sense of comfort not because of any apparent home advantage, but by knowing they ain’t just living out of suitcases.
But all that changes now with Lucknow being the first of five pitstops during what promises to be a hectic series of away games, bunched together due to assembly election in Karnataka.
Playing on bigger grounds, and on some challenging decks may come as a relief for a side that has blown hot-and-cold. Their wins have been spectacular, but familiar failings – of being over reliant on their big three – have been exposed in defeats.
Lucknow can’t get more challenging, both because of the surface that has tended to be slow and crumbly, but also because the Lucknow Super Giants will be coming into the game on the back of a record bash in Mohali two nights ago.
The RCB attack should welcome more bowler-friendly conditions as much as their batting will be wary of slip-ups; especially a slightly shaky middle order that has struggled to fill the Rajat Patidar void. Dinesh Karthik’s lean run hasn’t helped matters either.
Lucknow Super Giants WLWLW (last five games, most recent first)
Royal Challengers Bangalore LWWLW
Team news – Hazlewood likely for RCB; Stoinis under injury cloud
David Willey could sit out after injuring his foot while batting in RCB’s previous game. But the good news is they have Josh Hazlewood fit and ready to replace him. Hazlewood has completed his rehab for an Achilles injury under the franchise and Cricket Australia’s supervision.
Super Giants have shown a settled pattern with Amit Mishra coming in as an Impact Player with the ball by replacing a top-order batter like Kyle Mayers, after he’s sent down his quota up front.
Super Giants XII: 1 KL Rahul (capt), 2 Kyle Mayers, 3 Ayush Badoni, 4 Marcus Stoinis/Quinton de Kock, 5 Nicholas Pooran (wk), 6 Krunal Pandya, 7 Deepak Hooda, 8 Naveen-ul-Haq, 9 Ravi Bishnoi, 10 Avesh Khan, 11Yash Thakur, 12 Amit Mishra
Harshal Patel‘s finger injury hasn’t made batting easy, while Faf du Plessis continues to manage his rib injury. It’s been three games now that they’ve not used the Impact Player rule to full capacity just so that du Plessis only bats and Harshal only bowls.
RCB XII: 1 Virat Kohli (capt), 2 Faf du Plessis, 3 Mahipal Lomror, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Shahbaz Ahmed, 6 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 7 Suyash Prabhudessai, 8 Wanindu Hasaranga, 9 Vijaykumar Vyshak, 10 Josh Hazlewood, 11 Mohammed Siraj, 12 Harshal Patel
Stats that matter – Watch out for Rahul v Siraj
Pitch and conditions
Dew hasn’t had much of an effect so far in Lucknow, and it’s unlikely to change come Monday. Surfaces have been slow and have aided turn. Spinners will yet again have a massive say. RCB would gladly welcome the prospect of bowling to much bigger boundaries.
News Source: https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/indian-premier-league-2023-1345038/lucknow-super-giants-vs-royal-challengers-bangalore-43rd-match-1359517/match-preview