Old friends and former teammates collide as the Punjab kings take on the Lucknow Super Giants, with a place in the playoffs at stake for both sides. This will be the first time that former Punjab captain KL Rahul faces the side that he called home until last year after he refused to be retained, and sought a new team with a clean slate. Betting in India should favour Rahul’s new team over his former side.
Punjab has a new lease of life after winning their previous encounter, whereas Lucknow will be looking to continue their rich vein of form and create a comfortable cushion between them and the chasing pack. Punjab did enjoy their last IPL match, which they won against CSK, though it was a close contest.
It will be interesting to see the game plan that will be adopted by the Punjab Kings, who will face off against quite a few of their former players like Rahul, Ravi Bishnoi, and Deepak Hooda. With Lucknow going great guns, this is sure to be a very interesting match from a tactical standpoint.
The Kings finally put in a complete performance after what seemed like an eternity, putting a complete performance to dispatch the Chennai Super Kings. The game also marked the return to form for Shikhar Dhawan, who has had a rather ordinary season for his lofty standards. He bided his time and then put on the afterburners en route to a well-made 88.
The bowling was equally professional in its approach, with the veteran Rishi Dhawan bowling a very good last over to ice the game when it looked like the game was slipping away from them. The form of Mayank Agarwal still remains a point of concern, with the skipper having a lean run with the bat that has not seemed to stop, and gets pronounced each game. While the win against Chennai was no doubt a morale booster, they will have to continue to pull out such performances to make sure that they are in the reckoning for that playoff spot.
Lucknow Super Giants
While the Super Giants have been sitting pretty on that 4th spot in the points table, they will be well aware of the inconsistent form that has seen them lose 2 of their last 5 games. On a whole though, they have been one of the form teams in this year’s tournament, with skipper KL Rahul leading from the front. He has been in sublime form in the past few games, with 2 hundreds in the last 3 games, and well in command of his rhythm.
The bowling put on an absolute clinic in their last game, shackling the Mumbai Indians and not giving them an inch. There have been minor points of concern though, with their middle-order being relatively untested in the recent matches, and their seeming inability to win the close games, with all their losses coming in the last over. Lucknow will have to be more clinical and seize the moment when they are in control in order to be more consistent.
This is the first-ever meeting between the two sides in the IPL.
While Punjab did exceedingly well to win a close game against their last opponents, dealing with a Lucknow side who has an in-form KL Rahul leading from the front will be a different kettle of fish altogether. Punjab will have to be on the top of their game if they want to get a result out of this, but Lucknow will definitely be the favourites for this one.
Date and Time
29th April 2022 (Friday) at 7:30 pm.
MCA Stadium, Pune.