Advantage LSG against struggling DC

Rishabh Pant, Quinton de Kock, Marcus Stoinis and David Warner
Rishabh Pant, Quinton de Kock, Marcus Stoinis and David Warner (PC: LSG/X)

Lucknow Super Giants will take on Delhi Capitals in an IPL 2024 match at Lucknow’s Ekana Stadium on Friday (April 12). It will be LSG’s second consecutive home game and third of the season. Of significance, they hold a flawless 3-0 record against DC. LSG are also riding the momentum following their recent victory, which could give them an edge.

However, the potential absence of their speedster, Mayank Yadav, could pose a significant setback. Yadav had been the X factor for LSG, delivering impressive performances. If he isn’t fit, the team will heavily rely on Yash Thakur, who showcased brilliant bowling in the previous game, securing a five-wicket haul. The spin duo of Krunal Pandya and Ravi Bishnoi, who also displayed their skills against the Gujarat Titans, will be counted on to maintain their stellar form and make crucial contributions with the ball.

LSG captain, KL Rahul, presents a notable area of concern. Renowned for his fluent batting style, Rahul has encountered difficulties in finding rhythm in this edition. Despite making useful contributions, greater expectations loom over him due to his seasoned expertise. His struggle to unleash his full potential within the powerplay overs often exerts pressure on the subsequent batters — a recurring pattern that hasn’t gone unnoticed.

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Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer
Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer (PC: DC/X)

Meanwhile, Marcus Stoinis and Nicholas Pooran aim to adhere to their forte of aggressive stroke play, aiming to propel the team’s total. Additionally, the young talent, Devdutt Padikkal, seeking to rediscover form in the middle-order, adds depth to the batting line-up. LSG have made good use of home conditions so far and would want to try and do the same again.

Sitting at the bottom of the table, DC face an uphill battle to climb up the rankings. With only one win to their name, morale within the team is understandably low. However, there have been glimpses of brilliance that should serve as motivation.

Prithvi Shaw’s promising start against the Mumbai Indians offers hope, and the team relies on both Shaw and David Warner for a solid foundation at the top of the order. The recent explosive performance by Tristan Stubbs, who hammered 71 runs off just 25 balls, has injected a surge of energy, and they’ll be eager for him to replicate that impact.

All eyes will be on Rishabh Pant, as usual, but the primary concern lies in DC’s bowling department. To mount a strong challenge against LSG, their bowlers — particularly the more experienced campaigners like Ishant Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed and Anrich Nortje — will need to elevate their performances significantly. Match No. 26 promises to be a cracker, with LSG being the favourites playing at home.

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