Big picture – LSG look to course-correct after RCB drama
What’s an IPL without a little bit of drama, amirite?
Rahul’s injury status is not clear yet. He did come out to bat at No. 11 against RCB but was unable to run between the wickets. If he is, indeed, ruled out of the match, will Quinton de Kock finally get a chance? If they do want to get de Kock in, then one of their options is to bench Naveen-ul-Haq and bring in Avesh Khan. But that makes it an all-Indian bowling attack. They could also make Ayush Badoni play up the order. Or even Marcus Stoinis, Deepak Hooda, Manan Vohra or Prerak Mankad. Options aplenty there.
CSK are coming off back-to-back losses, which have taken them from No. 1 on the points table to No. 4, but the Lucknow pitch might work for them. The surfaces have been slow and have aided turn, and though this one is likely to be played on a red-soil strip, CSK have quality in their line-up.
Team news – question marks over Rahul and Unadkat
Apart from Rahul’s injury, LSG are also waiting on whether Jaydev Unadkat, who injured his left shoulder in the nets on Sunday, needs to travel to Mumbai for scans. Krunal Pandya captained Super Giants after Rahul left the field on Monday, and might have to do it again if Rahul misses this game. Mark Wood is expected to be available for their next two games before flying home for the birth of his daughter, and LSG would be tempted to give him a go if a red-soil pitch is in use.
Super Giants LWLWL (last five matches, most recent first)
Super Kings LLWWW
Impact Player strategy
Lucknow Super Giants
Super Giants will be forced to make changes if Rahul is unavailable, and de Kock could finally get a game, but it would mean many changes to their make-up. The likelier option is, perhaps, to get an Indian batter to fill in.
Probable XII 1 Kyle Mayers, 2 Manan Vohra/Prerak Mankad, 3 Ayush Badoni, 4 Deepak Hooda, 5 Krunal Pandya (capt), 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Nicholas Pooran (wk), 8 K Gowtham, 9 Avesh Khan/Yash Thakur, 10 Ravi Bishnoi, 11 Amit Mishra, 12 Naveen-ul-Haq/Mark Wood.
The big question
Who should open with Mayers if Rahul can’t play?
Chennai Super Kings
Mitchell Santner had been performing well but was dropped once Maheesh Theekshana became available. Theekshana has taken just five wickets in six innings at an economy of 8.4 this season and he hasn’t taken a single wicket in nine overs in the powerplay. CSK could be tempted to bring Santner back, given he’s also a gun fielder and can contribute with the bat.
Probable XII: 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 2 Devon Conway, 3 Ajinkya Rahane, 4 Moeen Ali, 5 Ambati Rayudu, 6 Shivam Dube, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 MS Dhoni (capt, wk), 9 Matheesha Pathirana, 10 Tushar Deshpande, 11 Maheesh Theekshana/Mitchell Santner, 12 Akash Singh
Pitch and conditions
A red-soil pitch, instead of the black-soil surface for the RCB game, is expected to be used at the Ekana Stadium, which will mean more bounce on offer. Despite expected cloud cover in the afternoon, there is no forecast of rain. The average first-innings score at the venue this season has been 147.
Stats and Trivia
Sruthi Ravindranath is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
News Source: https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/indian-premier-league-2023-1345038/lucknow-super-giants-vs-chennai-super-kings-45th-match-1359519/match-preview