Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore, having finished third and fourth respectively in the points table at the end of the Indian Premier League 2022 league stage, will clash in the Eliminator at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Wednesday. The winner of the match will play Qualifier 2 against Rajasthan Royals, who lost Qualifier 1 against Gujarat Titans.
The KL Rahul-led Lucknow Super Giants are one of the two new franchises this IPL and have impressed by winning nine of their 14 league matches to finish with 18 points in the season. After shuffling between the first and second position, they ended up on the third position as Rajasthan Royals edged them out courtesy their superior NRR.
Meanwhile, the journey for the Royal Challengers Bangalore was relatively turbulent as they were loomed by uncertainty despite being in the top four for most part of the league stage. However, big losses against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Gujarat Titans in their first encounters with them heavily dented their NRR. The business end of the league stage saw them battling with Delhi Capitals for a spot but the latter’s loss against Mumbai Indians in their final game saw them sneak into the playoffs.
IPL 2022 points table after league stage
Previous meeting this season
The two sides faced each other only once in the league stage and their H2H record is 1-0 in favour of RCB. Virat Kohli was dismissed for a golden duck by Dushmantha Chameera but his team won the match by 18 runs thanks to skipper Faf du Plessis’ 96 and contributions from Glenn Maxwell (23), Shahbaz Ahmad (26) and Dinesh Karthik (13), followed by Josh Hazlewood breathing fire in the powerplay and picking up a four-for. The early wickets of KL Rahul and Quinton de Kock ensured that LSG’s chase never really took. Krunal Pandya (42) put up some fight before Glenn Maxwell put an end to that. There was also some resistance shown by Marcus Stoinis (24) lower down the order but in vain. Du Plessis was named player of the match.
Top 3 batters for RCB so far
|Faf Du Plessis||14||1||443||96||34.08||130.67||0||3|
Top 3 bowlers for RCB so far
Top 3 batters for LSG so far
|K L Rahul||14||3||537||103*||48.82||135.26||2||3|
|Quinton De Kock||14||1||502||140*||38.62||149.40||1||3|
Top 3 bowlers for LSG so far
Some key matchups
Josh Hazlewood vs Quinton de Kock
Considering the way Quinton de Kock signed off in LSG’s last game in the group stage, there is absolutely no doubt that the wicket-keeper batter poses the biggest threat to his former franchise. If the unbeaten 140-run knock against Kolkata Knight Riders was an indicator of his current form, his mindset and just the comfort level against bowlers - it has to be noted that both spin and pace were no problem to him, He took them both on with great ease. For RCB to ensure they are on track, they need to nip that threat in the bud. To dismiss him early, Josh Hazlewood must step up in the powerplay one more time and replicate the 4 for 25 he picked up the last time RCB met LSG. Otherwise, if both LSG openers go on to build a strong opening partnership together like they did against KKR, it makes it nearly impossible to hamper the solid foundation they build for the team.
Mohsin Khan vs RCB openers
This one battle is particularly interesting because Mohsin Khan hadn’t played against RCB in the league stage and he’s become LSG’s third highest wicket-taker in the eight matches he has played. RCB captain Faf du Plessis has repeatedly insisted that at least one top-order player must bat through. He did exactly that in their last encounter against LSG as he notched up a match-winning 96 against them. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli’s struggles this season are not news but he found his old touch (and some luck) in the all-important final league game against GT. His 73 off 54 instills some more security in the top-order like their captain demands. Could Mohsin’s novelty factor could bring that crashing down once again?
Jason Holder vs Dinesh Karthik
It is also well-established that finisher Dinesh Karthik is in some form, even if he may at times need to tread caution against spinners. But if DK’s entry point is in a match situation most suitable for him and he has to face more spin, he could still be troubled by Jason Holder who has picked up 12 wickets in the middle and death overs. Interestingly, it was Holder who had ensured du Plessis got out before his century and during his 8-ball stay Karthik did not get the opportunity to score a boundary against him either. Will that change this time around will be something to watch out for.
Virat Kohli after winning player-of-the-match against GT: I can keep going. It was an important game. I was disappointed that I haven’t done much for my team and that is what bothers me, not the stats. Today was a game where I was able to create an impact for the team. Puts us in a good position. There are expectations because of the performances that you have put in. You need to keep the perspective right. You can forget the process in order to live up to the expectations. I have worked really hard. I batted 90 minutes in the nets yesterday. I came in very free and relaxed. It is in that spur of the moment why is it happening to me. It goes back to 2018 in England when I was dropped on 21 and the juggernaut could have started again like it did on the 2014 tour. I won’t be standing here being ungrateful for all that I have achieved.
Dinesh Karthik on his comeback to the Indian squad: I think the clarity that they (RCB Coach Sanjay Bangar and Director of Cricket Mike Hesson) gave me for me to execute the role that I wanted to do, in many ways I am indebted to RCB for picking me and giving me that role, believing in me and then me coming out here and trying to do my best for team RCB. So, it’s all and all a very very happy feeling.
Lucknow Super Giants opener Quinton de Kock to PTI: After being around for so long, it (opening) now comes naturally to me. I have always been an opening batter in the shorter formats... that responsibility has always been there for any team that I have played for. I enjoy it since I get lot more time to bat compared to say at No. 6 or 7, especially in T20 cricket, where you have a handful of balls to face. When opening, you get a lot more opportunities. That is just about why I prefer opening.
Lucknow Super Giants: Quinton de Kock (wk), KL Rahul (c), Evin Lewis, Deepak Hooda, Manan Vohra, Marcus Stoinis, Jason Holder, Krishnappa Gowtham, Mohsin Khan, Avesh Khan, Ravi Bishnoi, Ayush Badoni, Krunal Pandya, Dushmantha Chameera, Manish Pandey, Shahbaz Nadeem, Kyle Mathers, Ankit Rajpoot, Andrew Tye, Karan Sharma, Mayank Yadav
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis (c), Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shahbaz Ahmed, Wanindu Hasaranga, Harshal Patel, Siddharth Kaul, Josh Hazlewood, Akash Deep, Anuj Rawat, Finn Allen, Suyash Prabhudessai, Sherfane Rutherford, Aneeshwar Gautam, Chama V Milind, Jason Behrendorff, David Willey, Karn Sharma, Mohammad Siraj
The Indian Premier League 2022 Eliminator between Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore will begin at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Tuesday, May 25, at 7.30 pm IST.