Newcomers Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) and Gujarat Titans (GT) enter the IPL for the first time in 2022.
When they meet tomorrow, the Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans, captained by K.L. Rahul and Hardik Pandya, respectively, will look to get off to a fast start.
Here’s how the two teams compare heading into their first IPL encounter.
Lucknow Super Giants
The Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) are a force to be reckoned with. Lucknow has developed a strong pool of Indian players by borrowing the recipe from Chennai, Mumbai, and, more recently, Delhi. They have a skipper in Rahul as well as a swashbuckling opener in Quinton de Kock at the top of the order, as well as a prospective number three in Manish Pandey and a lower-order batter in Deepak Hooda.
All-rounders Krunal Pandya and Krishnappa Gowtham, left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, seamer Avesh Khan, and energetic leggie Ravi Bishnoi are among the other famous Indian players.
Andrew Tye, Marcus Stoinis, Jason Holder, and Evin Lewis are all quality international players, but Kyle Mayers and Dushmantha Chameera could be the surprise package.
On paper, Rahul’s approach would be crucial for all the big names with the bat. With leadership responsibilities at Punjab Kings, Rahul’s stroke-play remained restrained, with him frequently suffering against spinners.
The same can be said for de Kock, who struggles against spinners. Pandey hasn’t had a particularly productive season, while Pandya’s stock has fallen in both bowling and batting. Furthermore, Lucknow does not have many abroad possibilities, and there are no reliable backup choices for the first-choice players.
Rahul will have the opportunity to establish himself as a leader in a new group. In addition, IPL 15 provides Bishnoi with an opportunity to solidify his position as India’s next spin option.
Owing to Australia’s restricted over-commitment in Pakistan, Stoinis will miss the first two games, while Holder and Mayers will miss the first two games due to the ongoing third Test against England. Furthermore, due to mandated quarantine, de Kock will miss the opening match. Lucknow appears to be a good team on paper, but if their approach goes awry, it might jeopardize their chances of making a strong first impression.
Gujarat’s (GT) ability to assemble a high-quality bowling attack has been one of its strongest assets. Lockie Ferguson and Alzarri Joseph have quick feet, while Mohammed Shami’s line and length might be a test.
They have a world-class leggie in Rashid Khan, a useful off-spinner in Jayant Yadav, and a promising left-arm spinner in R. Sai Kishore in the domestic circuit.
They also have skipper Hardik Pandya, Vijay Shankar, and Dominic Drakes as fast bowling all-rounders, as well as Rahul Tewatia’s leg-spin. Varun Aaron, Noor Ahmed, and uncapped players Yash Dayal, Pradeep Sangwan, and Darshan Nalkande are also capable back-ups.
The absence of English opener Jason Roy in the franchise will affect the batting side of the Gujarat Titans (GT). This will open the chance for the wicket-keeper-batter Matthew Wade to start alongside Shubman Gill. Rahmanullah Gurbaz will replace Jason Roy in the league.
Wriddhiman Saha along with Vijay Shankar, and uncapped Karnataka batter Abhinav Manohar, will fight for third place.
Gujarat Titans are very fresh to the Indian Premier League. The franchise’s skipper and the coaching staff are also fresh to the roles that they took upon. This will give them a chance to work with more excitement than the other franchises.
Hardik Pandya is making a comeback to competitive cricket after last year’s Men’s T20 World Cup in October. He has been working on staying fit since then. A lion’s share of Gujarat’s balance depends on how many matches Pandya will appear in IPL 2022. Fitness is the main issue in the franchise as they need to keep an eye on the fitness status of the players like Gill, Shankar, and Ferguson.