Cricket Indian Premier League Prediction
Lucknow Super Giants vs Gujarat Titans - Match Preview
🏏 22 April 2023 - 14:00 GMT +0
The numbers leading into Lucknow Super Giants’ win away to Rajasthan on Wednesday had suggested that they were one of the league’s better death overs bowling sides, and on a slow surface in Jaipur they reaffirmed that status to claim two crucial points and move alongside Rajasthan at the top of the Indian Premier League (IPL) table with a 4-2 record. Defending champions Gujarat Titans (W3, L2) will be hoping to return the favour in their debut at the Ekana Cricket Stadium after they fell to the Royals in their most recent outing.
A horse racing fan may point to those form lines and suggest that Lucknow could therefore have inched their noses in front as title favourites, and given they lost both fixtures against Gujarat last year by big margins (five wickets and 62 runs), the Super Giants could make an enormous statement about their progress by earning their first inaugural H2H win. The home side still has the issue of losing on average seven wickets per innings, and come up against a bowling unit that had collected more (7.4 per innings) wickets than all but one team (RCB) after five rounds of the competition.
Lucknow is blessed with the in-form talent to the point where they have now chosen to leave world-class opener Quinton de Kock out for Kyle Mayers for four consecutive games (after de Kock was on South Africa duty for the first two), owing to three half-centuries and a strike rate in the 150s for the West Indian all-rounder. With Nicholas Pooran accumulating 170 runs at 12 per over and Marcus Stoinis removing both Rajasthan openers in a single middle overs spell (2/28), there appears no opening yet for de Kock, who described his time in the dugout as “chilled … I've made a couple more friends sitting on the side, learned a lot more with the boys and it's been fun watching the guys.”
That’s not to mention that the Super Giants didn’t feel the urgency to rush back Mohsin Khan, their second-most prolific wicket-taker of 2022, back from a shoulder injury. Mark Wood held the tournament’s ‘Purple Cap’ (11 wickets at 8.12 runs per over) after 26 games and will here be in direct competition with Gujarat star Rashid Khan, who was behind him only on economy rate (11 at 8.30rpo). Rashid will be somewhat familiar with the surroundings of the Ekana Cricket Stadium, which was a temporary ‘home’ ground for Afghanistan in 2019, but they won’t be particularly happy memories for he took no more than one wicket in each of his three ODIs and three T20Is against the West Indies late that year (4/211 from 42 overs).
Gujarat will have no issues with travelling after already winning in Mohali and Delhi this year, and were one Rinku Singh freak over away from joining Lucknow on four wins. Their weak spot this season is that they have lost twice when batting first - against Kolkata and Rajasthan - so the coin toss could play a crucial role. The Titans have been at their best with the ball in the final four overs of the innings, taking a league-high 15 wickets - one in front of their opponents - so the back ends of both innings could be hectic.
⚡ Players to watch: Lucknow’s Deepak Hooda is in the worst form of his life, putting together five consecutive single-digit scores after a 17 in the season opener. Perhaps the sight of Gujarat, against whom he recorded 55 and 27 last year, could inspire him to put that rut away. Hooda has been dominated by Gujarat’s Rashid Khan over three years, being dismissed three times at an average of 9.33 from 29 balls faced.
📋 Stat attack: Lucknow has won each of their three games as pre-match outsiders this year.
- Gujarat is yet to score the most sixes of a match this season.
- Kyle Mayers has recorded Lucknow’s top score three times this year.
- Gujarat’s Rahul Tewatia is yet to be dismissed either in 2023 (21 runs) or in his two innings against Lucknow (62 runs).
- Mohammed Shami to KL Rahul last season: 2/2 from 14 balls bowled.
- Avesh Khan to Hardik Pandya in all T20s: 2/6 from 13 balls bowled.
- David Miller scored 68 balls from 51 balls bowled by Amit Mishra for just one dismissal.
Mumbai Indians vs Punjab Kings - Match Preview
🏏 22 April 2023 - 18:00 GMT +0
Having been condemned to a break-even 3-3 record at home to RCB - not helped by a dismal top and middle order batting performance in what was an achievable run chase - Punjab Kings will be hoping to inflict the same fate upon Mumbai Indians (3-2) in the 31st match of the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL). After being comprehensively outclassed by RCB and Chennai in their opening two matches, Mumbai turned things around very sharply with three straight wins to come out of the shadows as a potential force.
The three sides that Mumbai knocked over on their way back to the middle of the table - Delhi, Kolkata and Hyderabad - are currently the three greatest outsiders in outright winner considerations. Detractors could use that to determine that Mumbai are therefore yet to get a result that makes the competition stand up and take notice, but they can only play who is ahead of them, and four consecutive wins would certainly have tongues wagging and their tails up ahead of showdowns with Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Owing to their slump last year whilst the bulk of the competition was being played in their own city, Mumbai have lost a lot of home advantage recently. Their six home games at the Wankhede Stadium since the start of 2022 have followed a very spooky trend where, not only have Mumbai alternated between winning and losing all the way, the pre-match outsiders of the day won all six games! They’ll certainly be hoping they can snap that streak here.
Jitesh Sharma’s 27-ball 41 saved some Net Run Rate damage for Punjab Kings and the margin of their 24-run loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore did not accurately reflect just how poor they were with the bat. A superb death overs bowling effort - 44/4 from RCB’s final five overs after failing to take a single wicket in the first 15 - had them asked to chase 175. Whilst he has his critics for his slow scoring rate at times, Punjab would have sorely loved to have Shikhar Dhawan to act as an anchor whilst those around him tried to go hard.
Dhawan was a couple of days short of being fully fit on Thursday despite some limited training, so it remains to be seen whether the 48-hour backup will be enough time for him to be able to return. The new Impact Player rule would allow him to bat without fielding, just as Rohit Sharma and Faf du Plessis have recently done, but Dhawan’s shoulder concern is more likely to inhibit his batting than the stomach bug and rib injuries suffered by his rival captains. Whilst he wasn’t able to make an immediate impact (2 and 0/9) after a layoff of nearly five months, the return of Liam Livingstone should provide a long-term benefit - though he’ll certainly want to improve upon his previous scores of 2 and 1 against Mumbai!
⚡ Key battle: Without being devastating, Mumbai opener Ishan Kishan has been building some strong momentum with four consecutive scores of 30+ runs. Add to that his four 30+ scores from six Wankhede Stadium innings since the start of 2022, and he could finally clear 30 against Punjab for the first time in 11 attempts (average: 16.30, best: 29).
In a 2020 clash in Dubai, he was dismissed from the first ball he faced from Punjab seamer Arshdeep Singh, who has claimed five powerplay wickets in 2023 at a rate of 8.72rpo. Arshdeep has taken wickets in all six IPL 2023 appearances, including exactly one in each of the most recent four.
📋 Stat attack: All but two of the last nine first-innings IPL scores at Wankhede Stadium were fewer than 170 runs.
- The pre-match outsider has won ten of Punjab’s last 14 matches.
- Ishan Kishan was dismissed just once during the powerplay (average: 139.00, 9.90rpo).
- Sam Curran has dismissed Suryakumar Yadav twice from eight balls bowled in all T20Is (average: 6.50).
- But across all formats, Curran has taken Rohit Sharma’s wicket just once for the price of 141 runs.
- Rahul Chahar has bowled 29.4 IPL overs at Wankhede Stadium for just three wickets (average: 72.67, 7.35rpo).
- Shikhar Dhawan has scored 92 runs from 59 balls faced against Piyush Chawla (average: 46.00).
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