Will MI finally break the shackles and register their 1st win this season ? A question which is on every cricket lover's lips these days. 2008, 2014, 2015 and now 2022. Losing 1st 4/5 matches is not a new thing for MI. They even won the championship in 2015, made it to playoffs in 2014 and missed out narrowly in 2008. But things are diff this time. In a 10 team tournament is quite difficult to seal your spot in top 4 and this MI side is weak on many fronts. What has been more bizarre from MI is their selections and playing 11 combinations in the 1st 4 games. They benched Tim David who after one failure who they aggresively pursued in the auctions and went with just 2 Overseas players in the last game. MI most probabaly lost this season at the auctions and spending 8 cr on Jofra Archer who wasn't going to take part this year has proved costly. MI have the likes of Fabian Allen, Riley Meridith on bench, they can easily field Allen at 7 which will provide an amazing balance to the squad and add batting depth. Playing with five no 11s will always add extra pressure on the batters which is exactly what happened in the last game against PBKS.
Lucknow's run of 3 consecutive wins was thwarted by a fiery Trent Boult spell and a Hetmyer special. Addition of Marcus Stoinis has only improved the balance of the team. Lucknow had won the half battle in auction itself. 2 left-handed openers to partner with Rahul in QDK and Lewis. A seam bowling all-rounders in Jason Holder, Krunal Pandya & Deepak Hooda the spin bowling allrounders and Stoinis who is decent with the ball. All these options are available at KL's disposal while pace battery is evenly sorted with Andrew Tye, Avesh Khan, Ankit Rajput and Chameera. Ayush Badoni is so far the find of the season.
Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan (wk), Dewald Brevis, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Kieron Pollard, Fabian Allen , Murugan Ashwin, Jaydev Unadkat, Jasprit Bumrah, Tymal Mills.
Lucknow Super Giants
KL Rahul (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Krishnappa Gowtham, Deepak Hooda, Marcus Stoinis, Ayush Badoni, Krunal Pandya, Jason Holder, Dushmantha Chameera, Avesh Khan, Ravi Bishnoi
Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
Record at Brabourne
MI: Played 8, Won 6, Lost 2
LSG: Played 1, Won 1, Lost 0
16 IPL games have been played at Brabourne.
Teams batting 1st have won 8/16 games.
Average Total batting 1st: 184.06
Average 1st innings winning total: 194.6
Average 1st innings total in 2022: 194.2
Highest total: 215/5 by DC vs KRR in 2022
Rohit v Chameera: 32/6 at SR 106 (Internationals)
KL v Bumrah:112/2 at SR 133
KL v Unadkat: 72/1 at SR 167
QDK v Unadkat: 45/0 at SR 145
(last 5 innings)
Key Players & Fanatsy Picks
Suryakumar Yadav: MI missed a stable middle order batter in the 1st 2 games and were boosted by the addition of Sky in the match against KKR. He is a vital cog in this MI line up and has produced 3 consecutive 400+ seasons from 2018-20. 52(36) v KKR, 68(37) v RCB and almost a match winning knock of 43(30) are his last 3 outings since comeback from injury.
KL Rahul: 2681 runs at a SR of 139.3. No one has scored more runs than him since 2018. KL has put consistent 500+ runs seasons for 4 times in a row.
Quinton de Kock: He was one of the pillars of MI's batting line up. After switching to MI, QDK scored 500+ in 2 seasons. In Powerplay, he has scored the 2nd most runs in the last 3 seasons. He won the Man of the match award against SRH for his 80.
Tilak Verma: (Fantasy rating - 8/8.5 points)
The southpaw from Hyderabad was a member of India’s U19 World Cup in 2020. He was picked by MI at 1.7 crores after facing a little competition from SRH, CSK and RR. His last outings in VHT and SMAT are one of the major reasons why so many franchises raised the paddle for him. He scored 215 runs in SMAT at a strike rate of 147. Tilak Verma became the youngest batter for MI to score a half century in the last match against RR and followed it up with a 38 against KKR. He again lauched a quickfire attack against Punjab with 36 off 20 balls but was unfortunate to get run out.
Ravi Bishnoi: The 2020 U19 WC star succesfully made it into the national side in the recently held home series against WI. He won the MoM award on debut. He has an eco of 6.94 and taken 28 wkts since his debut in 2020 out of which 23 came in the middle overs.
Rohit's and Pollard's performances have been underwhelming for a while. It just takes few release shots to turn the tide for a player of their abilities and it could well be their day on a saturday afternoon at Brabourne.
MI will break their losing streak and emerge victorious against Lucknow with Bumrah being the man of the match.