It is time for us to take a look at the clash between the Punjab Kings and the Lucknow Super Giants as they will face off each other in Mohali for yet another thriller. Thriller! Yes, you heard that right…This game is going to be a thriller because less than 2 weeks ago the same teams contested in a Hard fought match and the Punjab Kings won a tight game against the Lucknow Super Giants.
Until This game both the Teams stand with a similar equation in the points Table in terms of Matches played, Wins, and losses. But there is only one thing which is differentiating both the Teams and that is the contrasting results they’ve had right in their previous game. The Punjab Kings are coming into this game with a thrilling win over the Mumbai Indians on their home ground, which is a huge confidence booster. On the Other Hand, The Lucknow Super Giants are coming with a crushing Loss from Gujarat Titans.
Punjab Kings performance So far
The Punjab Kings’ batting has been reasonable so far even in the absence of their star-batsman Shikhar Dhawan, who happens to feature in the list of Top run scorers this season. They Have found some dependable Youngsters like Prabsimran Singh who has made his Mark with some responsible batting this season. However, He has scored only 1 fifty plus score so far but has also played a cameo with a very good strike rate of 159.00.
Players Like Sikander Raza and Sam Curran have also played a crucial role in stabilizing the middle order. With the return of Shikhar Dhawan in the Top order Punjab will go vigorously against Lucknow’s Bowling attack as this is something they can exploit in the absence of Mark Wood, who is their lead when it comes to the bowling department.
When it comes to Punjab’s Bowling their bowling attack is probably one of the best this season with 2 left-arm quick bowlers in Arshdeep Singh and Sam Curran. Both of them have the ability to swing the ball both ways which could be a threat to the slow scoring rate of the LSG Openers, especially KL Rahul. However, KL Rahul has been vulnerable to fast bowling in the powerplay which has pushed him to be extra cautious leading to the suffering of the Run rate of LSG in the Powerplay.
Problems for LSG?
If we Take a look at the form KL Rahul has been going through, it clearly shows that he is putting in too much effort to survive out there in the middle. With a meager strike Rate of 114 and an Average of 37.43. He has managed to get 2 fifty plus scores but with a very ordinary strike rate. KL Rahul will have to find his rhythm back in terms of scoring quickly rather than scoring more runs. He will be crucial at the start to give LSG a complete and successful Powerplay. The statistics also reveal that LSG lose 46% of their games when KL Rahul played more than 50 balls without having a good strike rate.
In the absence Of Mark Wood, All the responsibilities of leading the bowling will be on Avesh Khan as he will be crucial against the Top order of Punjab Kings. His bowling figures have been quite economical in the last 3 games that he played and has scalped 6 wickets in the season so far. He will also have a crucial role in the Death overs where He might Have to bowl to the finishers like Shahrukh Khan. The LSG has a trump card in the form of Ravi Bishnoi who could be deceptive to the middle order of Punjab, especially for Liam Livingstone who has struggled against spin this season.
Match-ups to look For!
KL Rahul vs Arshdeep Singh: This Match-up will be a deciding factor that who will win the Powerplay. KL Rahul who has been criticized for his lower strike rate will have to sort a way out. Arshdeep is one such bowler who will swing the ball both ways and he can be a trouble for Rahul who has to make sure he is batting at a good strike rate against Arshdeep Singh. His Tally of Wickets this season comprises both Wickets in the Powerplay and Death overs.
We have already seen the close game when both Teams met for the last time, but this game is not going to be a one-sided match though LSG has a few players missing in action of them. It will again come down to the basics where the Team which plays the better cricket Overall will win the game, Here looking at the composition of Teams; Punjab Kings have a slight advantage for them as the Return of Shikhar Dhawan and maybe the absence of Mark Wood for LSG could do the trick here. A contest will be seen again among the Spin duo of Harpreet Brar and Rahul Chahar who will have to face the in-form batting duo of LSG i.e. Nicholas Pooran and Marcu Stoinis. Each of these small contests and Match-ups will be crucial in shifting the momentum of the Teams towards or away from Victory.