Their campaign back on track after a poor start, new entrants Lucknow Super Giants will rely on their batting prowess to get past Sunrisers Hyderabad in an Indian Premier League match here on Monday.
LSG did not have the best start to their debut season, losing by five wickets against fellow IPL debutants Gujarat Titans. But they roared back in style by beating defending champions Chennai Super Kings by six wickets in a high-scoring affair in their second match.
In skipper KL Rahul and Quinton de Kock, LSG boast of formidable opening pair, and they proved their worth against CSK by scoring 40 and 61 in a 99-run first-wicket stand. West Indian Evin Lewis smashed an unbeaten 55 off 23 balls in a steep chase of 211 against CSK while, in Deepak Hooda, LSG possesses a dependable middle-order batter.
Young Ayush Badoni, who has taken the ongoing IPL by storm with his six-hitting prowess, is a treat to watch and would be looking to carry on his fine form.
Badoni struck a 41-ball 54 in his IPL debut against Titans and followed it up with yet another entertaining nine-ball unbeaten 19-run knock against CSK. But the form of Manish Pandey will be a cause of concern for LSG, who also boasts of hard-hitting all-rounders like Krunal Pandya and Jason Holder among others.
On the bowling front, Avesh Khan, Sri Lankan Dushmantha Chameera, Andrew Tye, and Ravi Bishnoi were the main wicket-takers for LSG in the two matches so far, but they need to be more disciplined to contain the run flow.
Sunrisers, on the other hand, were blown away by the batting effort of Rajasthan Royals in a 61-run defeat in their opening match. Comprising a mediocre squad, Sunrisers players need to punch above their weight.
While experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/29) produced an economical spell, the likes of Romario Shepherd (1/33), Umran Malik (2/39), T Natarajan (2/43), and Washington Sundar leaked runs against RR. And Sunrisers team management will expect a much-improved performance from its bowling unit in the matches to come.
If bowling is a concern, Sunrisers batting department too looked cagey against RR and would be relying heavily on skipper Kane Williamson, Rahul Tripathy, Nicholas Pooran, Abdul Samad, and Abhishek Sharma to deliver the goods. In their only match so far, South African Aiden Markram played an unbeaten 57-run knock off 41 balls, while Sundar hit a blazing 14-ball 40, albeit in a losing cause. Sunrisers would be looking for a complete, allround performance to register their first win of the season.
Lucknow Super Giants: KL Rahul (Captain), Manan Vohra, Evin Lewis, Manish Pandey, Quinton De Kock, Ravi Bishnoi, Dushmantha Chameera, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mohsin Khan, Mayank Yadav, Ankit Rajpoot, Avesh Khan, Andrew Tye, Marcus Stoinis, Kyle Mayers, Karan Sharma, Krishnappa Gowtham, Ayush Badoni, Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya, Jason Holder.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (Captain), Abhishek Sharma, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran, Abdul Samad, Priyam Garg, Vishnu Vinod, Glenn Phillips, R Samarth, Shashank Singh, Washington Sundar, Romario Shepherd, Marco Jansen, J Suchith, Shreyas Gopal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sean Abbott, Kartik Tyagi, Saurabh Tiwary, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Umran Malik, T Natarajan.