Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli haven’t hit the ground running this season
Could we be in for another installment of KL Rahul going berserk against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)? When the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) skipper takes on his former franchise in the 31st match of the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday, April 19, he will have the opportunity to build on the splendid hundred he scored against the Mumbai Indians (MI) last Saturday.
Rahul won’t be the only former RCB player to turn out for LSG. Manish Pandey, Marcus Stoinis and Avesh Khan will accompany their captain as key members of a Lucknow side who have four wins from six games and are placed third in the IPL 2022 points table. RCB aren’t far behind their opponents with an identical record and a slightly inferior net run rate.
RCB have been carried by Dinesh Karthik’s spectacular efforts with the bat, but things are looking up for the three-time finalists as they attempt to mold themselves into a well-rounded unit. Josh Hazlewood’s return has boosted their bowling attack, while Glenn Maxwell doesn’t appear to have missed a beat since his stellar IPL 2021 season.
Meanwhile, LSG have the flexibility of several bowling options and team combinations. Pandey walked back into the playing XI and looked to be in decent nick, adding weight to a middle order that hasn’t had much to do because of Rahul and Quinton de Kock’s consistency at the top.
IPL 2022 Match Prediction: LSG vs RCB
Dinesh Karthik has single-handedly won a couple of matches for RCB in IPL 2022
LSG aren’t a team known for their threat with the new ball. Dushmantha Chameera has blown hot and cold so far, while Jason Holder hasn’t managed to generate appreciable movement in the powerplay. Faf du Plessis and Anuj Rawat, who haven’t quite hit their stride in IPL 2022 despite one magnificent innings each, could welcome the Super Giants’ lack of potency up front.
However, Ravi Bishnoi will remain a difficult proposition to counter in the middle overs and perhaps even at the end of the innings. His match-ups against Maxwell and Karthik could well shape the encounter. Avesh has come up with wickets both in the powerplay and at the death, but most of RCB’s batters enjoy pace on the ball.
RCB’s powerplay and death bowling has come under the scanner as well. Mohammed Siraj showed signs of returning to form in the previous game after a dismal start to the season, with Hazlewood’s inclusion taking some pressure off him. Maxwell and Shahbaz Ahmed will have to contribute four overs that could prove costly against LSG.
Overall, RCB’s batting lineup hasn’t shown enough solidity to warrant them being picked ahead of LSG. The Super Giants are a well-rounded outfit with only a couple of fixable holes, and if they can get a couple of early wickets, they should be able to improve their position in the IPL 2022 points table.
Prediction: LSG to win Match 31 of IPL 2022