Set to be clad in local giants Mohun Bagan’s iconic green and maroon jersey, Lucknow Super Giants would find themselves at home as they look to seal their playoff berth knocking out a hapless Kolkata Knight Riders in the final IPL game, at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on Saturday. The real home team in this case, KKR, have not only complained of being let down by the conditions but their problems go deeper, having struggled to find a perfect winning combination in a topsy-turvy season, enduring seven defeats. Out of those seven, four losses were at the Eden Gardens.
Be it the batting, which still seems to be a work in progress, the bowling, especially pace department, has also looked terribly short on experience.
In fielding, they have made a mockery of themselves with some of the efforts suggesting that the two-time champions have showed they do not ‘belong’ at this level.
Courtesy, some individual brilliance from Rinku Singh and Varun Chakravarthy, the KKR still are lucky to have been able to keep their campaign alive in ‘blow hot-and-cold’ season.
With a heavy mid-table traffic, there is a possibility of four teams to be locked on 14 points with the one with a superior net run-rate making the playoffs.
Hanging by the thread, KKR with 12 points would not only need to win by a big margin, but they have to rely on Punjab Kings (vs Rajasthan Royals), Gujarat Titans (vs Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (vs Mumbai Indians) to win their respective matches.
LSG however do not have to fret so much about the mathematical scenarios as a win would be enough for them to seal their back-to-back playoff berth.
On momentum too, LSG look far superior to a struggling KKR who have struggled to get into the act at their home den.
KKR Predicted XII (including impact player): Rahmanullah Gurbaz (w), Jason Roy, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana (c), Andre Russell, Rinku Singh, Shardul Thakur, Sunil Narine, Vaibhav Arora, Harshit Rana, Suyash Sharma, Varun Chakaravarthy
LSG Predicted XII (including impact player): Quinton de Kock (w), Deepak Hooda, Prerak Mankad, Krunal Pandya (c), Marcus Stoinis, Nicholas Pooran, Ayush Badoni, Naveen-ul-Haq, Ravi Bishnoi, Swapnil Singh, Mohsin Khan, Krishnappa Gowtham
(With PTI Inputs)
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