April 19, 2023
Rajasthan Royals will be playing the Lucknow Super Giants in their first home game of the season. Sanju Samson played a fine knock at number 4 scoring 60 off 32 balls taking RR to their 3rd consecutive win.
LSG failed to continue their winning run after their batting failed in Lucknow in sticky conditions. Rahul’s 74 off 56 helped LSG finish with 159 runs batting first against Punjab.
It may not look like a big total, but it would have been enough and there were chances that LSG failed to capitalize in the second innings of the match. KL Rahul suggested they were 10 runs short, but we reckon it was just the failure to execute the bowling plans at the death.
Nevertheless, he does have some batting concerns to address. They cannot always depend on Stoinis and Nicholas Pooran to rescue them and need the likes of Rahul, Pandya, and Hooda to step up and deliver.
Sanju Samson is definitely knocking on the door for the World Cup selections. The RR skipper was out for a duck in two consecutive matches before he led the comeback in the last game against GT.
Rajasthan Royals found themselves at 55 for 4 in the 11th over while chasing 178 runs in Ahmedabad. Samson and Hetmyer together added 59 off 27 balls for the 5th wicket.
In the 19th Over, R Ashwin also played a handy knock scoring 10 off the 3 balls ensuring that RR were comfortably placed to chase down the target in the last over.
Hetmyer played a key role after Samson’s departure with his 56 off 26 balls making sure the Royals’ chase wasn’t derailed. Jos Buttler is a key player in this batting lineup but Samson and Hetmyer’s ability to stage a comeback shows that RR aren’t completely dependent on him.
And that allows for more freedom for the England batsman at the top. Yashaswi Jaiswal also looked in good touch in previous outings and will be eager to get RR off to another flying start.
Trent Boult who’s been expensive lately, can be a key bowler for RR given the playing conditions here in Jaipur. The spinners would also enjoy a good time and that makes Chahal and Zampa key players to watch out for.
Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Riyan Parag, Shimron Hetmyer, Dhruv Jurel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Adam Zampa, Sandeep Sharma, Yuzvendra Chahal
Lucknow Super Giants lost a close game at home while defending a par score against Punjab Kings. KL Rahul and co. had their chances in the game and if the bowling and fielding were a little better at the death, they could have ended as the winning side.
Coming to Jaipur, Mark Wood and Jaydev Unadkat will be ones to watch out for in the LSG squad. Unadkat has played here before while Wood can get some help from the surface if Giants win the toss and bowl first. KL Rahul looks in good touch and needs to improve his strike rate at the top.
But before he can shift the gears, the skipper needs to be confident in his middle order’s abilities. While Krunal Pandya did play a handy knock in the chase against SRH, he hasn’t been that impactful.
And moreover, Deepak Hooda also seems to have lost his way. This is a growing concern in the LSG camp as they seem to be growingly dependent on Marcus Stoinis and particularly Nicholas Pooran in the lower order.
These two are quality finishers but if tasked with bigger roles every time, their failure can then cost Lucknow dearly. But if the two get going and Ayush Badoni also comes to the party, LSG can finish on a high and successfully chase a total.
KL Rahul (c), Kyle Mayers, Deepak Hooda, Marcus Stoinis, Krunal Pandya, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Jaydev Unadkat, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Mark Wood, Ravi Bishnoi
The pitch has a bit of green on it that will help the fast bowlers early in the match. The bounce is even and the ball comes on to the bat quickly allowing batters to freely play their strokes. Moreover, dew is also likely to come into play and that will make scoring runs a lot easier in the second innings. The weather will be partly cloudy on the match day and the temperature will be between 31 and 33 degrees Celcius from 7:30 pm onward.
The Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur will be hosting its first match of IPL 2023 as RR take on LSG. The average 1st innings score here in the T20s is 158 runs. The outfield at this venue is fast and since batting gets easier with the dew coming in later in the night, team batting first should target 180+ score to give themselves a good chance of winning.
Teams bowling first have won 32 of the 47 domestic T20 matches played on this ground. It gets easier to bat on this ground as the match progresses as the pacers enjoy only in early overs of the match. Also, both teams have a solid lower order with reliable big-hitting finishers and would be comfortable chasing down a target.
The home team will have an advantage going into this match. They are in great form and have the winning momentum on their side especially after the recent win led by skipper Sanju Samson. Lucknow Super Giants seem to be struggling with the bat and this will be a good opportunity for their top order to get back in form. The bowling is strong on both sides and it will be a close encounter between the two teams. We reckon RR has a slight edge over LSG and hence, will start as favourites in our match prediction.
Our prediction is for Rajasthan Royals to win