Gujarat and Lucknow to fight for a place in IPL playoffs

Pune, May 9 (PTI) After a stellar performance in their maiden season, Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants will look to secure a place in the playoffs when they face each other in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Tuesday.

Gujarat had been at the top of the league for most of the time but had to face defeat in the last two matches due to the failure of the batsmen. With this, Lucknow has reached the top in its place.

However, these two teams have equal 16 points and the team winning this match will be confirmed for a place in the playoffs.

Hardik Pandya-led Gujarat lost to Punjab Kings and Mumbai Indians last week. Lucknow, on the other hand, have won their last four matches. These include a 75-run victory against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the last match, due to which the team of Lucknow will take the field with increased morale.

KL Rahul has led Lucknow from the front. He has so far scored 451 runs in 11 matches which includes two centuries and half-centuries.

The Lucknow team is heavily dependent on him in batting but in recent matches Quinton de Kock and Deepak Hooda have taken more responsibility which has eased Rahul’s burden.

Lucknow bowlers are also doing well. Against Punjab Kings, where he defended 153 runs well, KKR was allowed to score only 101 runs. Fast bowlers Avesh Khan and Jason Holder performed brilliantly in this match.

Fast bowlers Mohsin Khan, Krunal Pandya and Sri Lanka’s Dushmant Chamira have bowled economical. Ravi Bishnoi, however, proved to be a bit expensive in the last match.

As far as Gujarat is concerned, it has strengthened its position by making a comeback in difficult situations. Its different players have played match-winners so far, but it didn’t happen against Mumbai when they failed to score nine runs in the last over.

Gujarat batsmen need to maintain consistency. His top order batsmen are not able to play long innings. Shubman Gill has not been able to shine but Wriddhiman Saha has conveyed his intentions well.

Hardik, David Miller and Rahul Tewatia also could not walk in the recent matches. They will have to regain the old momentum at the crucial juncture of the tournament.

Gujarat has world-class bowlers in Mohammed Shami, Lockie Ferguson and Rashid Khan. Shami, however, has not been seen in his complexion recently. They also need to get back into the rhythm.

The teams are as follows:

Gujarat Titans: Hardik Pandya (Captain), Abhinav Manohar, David Miller, Gurkeerat Singh, B Sai Sudarshan, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Matthew Wade, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Wriddhiman Saha, Alzarri Joseph, Darshan Nalkande, Lockie Ferguson, Mohammad Shami, Noor Ahmed, Pradeep Sangwan, Rashid Khan, Ravi Srinivasan Sai Kishore, Varun Aaron, Yash Dayal.

Lucknow Super Giants: KL Rahul (Captain), Manan Vohra, Evin Lewis, Manish Pandey, Quinton de Kock, Ravi Bishnoi, Dushmantha Chamira, Mohsin Khan, Mayank Yadav, Ankit Rajput, Avesh Khan, Andrew Tye, Marcus Stoinis, Kyle Meyers, Karan Sharma, Krishnappa Gautam, Ayush Badoni, Deepak Hooda, Kunal Pandya, Jason Holder.

The match will start at 7.30 pm Indian time.