Cricket Indian Premier League Prediction
Rajasthan Royals vs Lucknow Super Giants - Match Preview
🏏 19 April 2023 - 18:00 GMT +0
After opening their season with a pair of matches in Guwahati, 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) title favourites Rajasthan Royals will return to their spiritual home in Jaipur for the first time since the 2019 season, understandably expecting to top the 3-4 record they grafted at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium that year on the way to finishing last. Plenty has changed since then, including the introduction of upcoming opponents Lucknow Super Giants, who will make the trip west for the first time.
This will be a top-of-the-table clash in the first half of the season following four wins from Rajasthan’s five games. Victories so far have come against Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and defending champions Gujarat, whilst they narrowly lost to Punjab Kings despite scoring 192 runs whilst batting second. Just as they were last year, they come into this match as the league’s second fastest scoring batting unit (9.54rpo) courtesy of many outstanding starts from opening pair Jos Buttler (114 runs during the first six overs at 10.85rpo) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (93 powerplay runs at 9.78rpo).
When combined with Trent Boult’s five powerplay wickets and an economy rate of 5.88rpo this season, it’s little wonder Rajasthan’s opponents often find themselves chasing the game from early in each inning. When it comes to scoring and preventing sixes - another crucial aspect of 20-over cricket - the Royals have succeeded on that front time and time again, posting the most sixes of all five games this year mostly due to conceding only five per innings on average.
The pre-match outsider of the day has won four of Lucknow’s five games in 2023 and that’s a trend they’ll be hoping to continue with what would also be their inaugural defeat of the Royals after losing twice last year. Super Giants captain KL Rahul was dismissed cheaply on both occasions (10 and 0) but sharpened up for this fixture with his first half-century of the season (74) in a narrow loss to Punjab, a franchise who have gotten the better of both Rajasthan and Lucknow already.
Lucknow has now produced four separate half-centurions this season, all with run tallies of more than 100 and averages of greater than 30 to their names. Whereas Rajasthan has always been exceptionally busy in the first six overs, the action has been at the back end of Lucknow’s games, where they have already lost 11 wickets but taken 12 beyond the 16th over in 2023. This will be just their fifth match at an opposition venue in their history, and following two away wins over Mumbai last year and a last-ball run chase of 213 in Bengaluru this year, they ought not to be daunted by the unfamiliar surroundings or the sea of pink around them.
⚡ Key battle: We don’t too often see Rajasthan win a game when star opening batter Jos Buttler fails to make an impact, but that’s precisely what happened both times these teams met last year. The common theme is that he was dominated by Lucknow bowler Avesh Khan, who took his wicket twice from three balls bowled in the 2022 season. The sight of Buttler might be the inspiration Avesh needs after consecutive wicketless appearances.
📋 Stat attack: The all-time average first innings IPL score in Jaipur is 158, and was slightly higher throughout the 2019 season (163).
- The last six IPL games in Jaipur were all won by the chasing team.
- Lucknow Impact Player and former Royal Krishnappa Gowtham have a career economy rate of just 6.55rpo from 29 overs bowled in Jaipur (8/190).
- Gowtham dismissed Devdutt Padikkal with the only ball bowled to him last season.
- Krunal Pandya to Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson (combined) in all T20s: 0/125 from 78 balls.
- Ravichandran Ashwin to Nicholas Pooran in all T20s: 3/25 from 29 balls.
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