KL Rahul And Rishabh Pant Engage in Battle of Wits

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IPL is a great platform where a good exhibition of meticulous homework, informed decision making with a dash of punt at critical junctures will hold any leader in good stead.

India will be playing a lot of cricket in next few years and with national captain Rohit Sharma’s workload management is paramount, Rahul and Pant will both like to make a strong case for themselves going into the future.

And hence, the availability of the dashing David Warner and fit again Anrich Nortje for Capitals and the dependable Marcus Stoinis for LSG will certainly add to the depth of the playing XIs and bolster the competitive edge.

“David Warner is out of quarantine, so he’s definitely available for selection for the next game, which is very exciting.

“Anrich Nortje has been going incredibly well over the last couple of weeks, since he’s arrived here in India. And he has passed his fitness test to be available for selection, ”said Capitals assistant coach Shane Watson on the eve of the game.

It is expected that Tim Seifert will make way for Warner in the Capitals line-up and Nortje is set to enter the playing eleven at the expense of either Rovman Powerll or Mustafizur Rahman who starred with the ball in the previous game.

All-rounder Stoinis, who was picked by Lucknow from the draft, might replace one among Andrew Tye or Evin Lewis. As of now, replacing Tye looks more imminent.

Both teams have had issues with their bowling but Lucknow under Gautam Gambhir’s mentorship, has managed pretty well.

The addition of Jason Holder has made them stronger and Delhi will be hoping that Warner gives them a rollicking start alongside mercurial Prithvi Shaw.

In case of LSG, skipper Rahul two good knocks against CSK and Sunrisers Hyderabad would like that Quinton de Kock also repeats his performance against CSK.

However it is LSG’s bowling that needs to stop DC’s batting firepower which will grow manifold in Waner’s presence and skipper Pant and Shaw also waiting for their big knocks.

While Lalit Yadav is growing in confidence with each passing game, it is veteran batter Mandeep Singh, who is the weakest link in the batting line-up.

The way Mandeep backed towards leg-stump to deliveries from Lockie Ferguson and even Hardik Pandya, didn’t make a pleasant sight.

However with LSG’s attack not having an express quick in absence of Mark Wood, Pant and coach Riocky Ponting might be tempted to give the former Punjab captain one more chance.

In case, he doesn’t get it then the three available options are Kona Bharat, Sarfaraz Khan and Yash Dhull. Sarfaraz was in great form during first-class season while Bharat did well for RCB last year in the few chances that he got.

In case Lucknow, Manish Pandey has looked horribly out of touch but Gambhir is known to back his players which could well save him from getting the ax.

Also there is no denying that LSG’s bench strength when it comes to Indian batting back-up isn’t great.

The two available players are Manan Vohra, who even after a decade in IPL, has failed to deliver and there is Uttar Pradesh white-ball captain Karan Sharma, who isn’t exactly a finished product.

Full Squads

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

Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant (Captain), Ashwin Hebbar, David Warner, Mandeep Singh, Prithvi Shaw, Rovman Powell, Anrich Nortje, Chetan Sakariya, Khaleel Ahmed, Kuldeep Yadav, Lungi Ngidi, Mustafizur Rahman, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Lalit Yadarkoti , Mitchell Marsh, Pravin Dubey, Ripal Patel, Sarfaraz Khan, Vicky Ostwal, Yash Dhull, KS Bharat and Tim Seifert

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