Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Lucknow Super Giants: Preview and Prediction
All ten combatants of the Indian Premier League have kick-started their 2023 campaign as it’s now time for the main action where all of them will be racing towards playoffs.
The Match No. 15 of Season 16 will see Royal Challengers Bangalore summoned by the rising forces Lucknow Super Giants at their fortress M Chinnaswamy Stadium. The two consecutive double-header weekend match-days will be followed by a one-off game between these two heavyweights on Monday.
The presence of Rajat Patidar was dearly missed by the RCB fans as their middle order lacked a batter who understood the spin well and collapsed like the cards. David Willey was the only shining star from a forgettable night for the Royal Challengers at Eden Gardens as the Englishman is likely to retain his place in the playing eleven. We may also see the Rajasthan hard-hitting all-rounder Mahipal Lomror walk in as the impact player instead of Anuj Rawat who miserably failed to play the crucial role.
The South African wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock has joined the LSG camp in a full swing and is expected to make his first appearance of the season against his former franchise. It is going to be very tough for the LSG team management to break the winning combination to accommodate the foreign opener. Romario Shepherd is likely to be dropped from the first eleven while Kyle Mayers may also have to sacrifice his opening position for his fellow Durban Super Giants teammate.
What have they done so far?
RCB commenced their journey of the 16th edition in style and thrashed the most decorated franchise Mumbai Indians in a one-sided encounter at home. However, the celebrations erupted at the Res and Blacks camp when they suffered a defeat from familiar foes Kolkata Knight Riders in the very next game. Despite dominating KKR in the initial stages, the Karnataka-based outfit surrendered to the mystery of Varun Chakravarthy and Suyash Sharma and lost the match by 81 runs.
On the other hand, Lucknow Super Giants’ second-ever season in the Indian top-flight league also started in a thumping way with a 50-run triumph over Delhi Capitals. The flight of the Uttar Pradesh-based franchise was hunted down by Chennai Super Kings who successfully defended the total of 217 at Chepauk. However, the 12-run defeat at the hands of CSK did not affect the high spirits of LSG as they quickly bounced back to register a five-wicket victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Head to Head record
RCB and LSG were placed in opposite groups in the previous IPL edition as we got to witness only a single group stage encounter between these two. Royal Challengers Bangalore proceeded to claim the crucial two points after the skipper Faf du Plessis played a memorable knock of 96 off 64 balls to make a whopping contribution of 53% in the team total of 181. Lucknow could not recover from the early heartbreaks delivered by the Australian speedster Josh Hazlewood who finished with a four-fer in the 18-run win.
However, this was not the only encounter between them as they went on to face each other once again in the Eliminator clash to determine the Qualifier 2 participant. It was a special day for the Madhya Pradesh batter Rajat Patidar who smashed his maiden IPL ton, swinging the game in the favor of the Red and Blacks at Eden Gardens. RCB edged past the northern counterparts by 14 runs to eliminate them and also became the only second team after Gujarat Titans to register two victories in a season against the Super Giants.
KL Rahul: The 30-year-old star Indian batter will be up against his home team and the same franchise which gave him the platform to make his debut at the grandest stage of IPL. Rahul has always scored big runs against RCB after his departure in 2018 and also played a robust knock of 79 in the most recent face-off.
However, he is yet to showcase his run-scoring abilities in the current edition and has managed to fetch only 63 runs from the first three innings which perfectly sets a build-up for his redemption.
David Willey: A heart-wrenching injury of Reece Topley made way for another English pacer to barge into the RCB playing XI and the latter one left no stone unturned to capitalize on it.
He was the most successful bowler for the Royal Challengers after dismissing two top-order KKR batters Venkatesh Iyer and Mandeep Singh while giving away only 16 runs from his four-over quota. Willey also showcased his batting capabilities with the willow later on and remained unbeaten on an individual score of 20.
Predicted Playing XI
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis ©, Mahipal Lomror, Glenn Maxwell, Michael Bracewell, Shahbaz Ahmed, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Karn Sharma, Harshal Patel, David Willey, Mohammed Siraj
Lucknow Super Giants: Quinton de Kock (wk), Kyle Mayers, Deepak Hooda, KL Rahul ©, Marcus Stoinis, Nicholas Pooran, Krunal Pandya, Amit Mishra, Yash Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Ravi Bishnoi
Despite losing their most recent fixture in a one-sided manner, RCB still stands with brighter chances to emerge victorious owing to the aspects like home advantage and head-to-head record.
Meanwhile, Lucknow is also capable enough to beat the Karnataka heavyweights in their own backyard especially after having a relatively better current form. The skipper KL Rahul must step up and play the captain’s knock at his home ground in order to return to their base city with two points in the bank.