Match Preview – Super Giants vs Capitals, Indian Premier League 2022, 15th Match

Match Preview - Super Giants vs Capitals, Indian Premier League 2022, 15th Match

Big picture

KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant. It probably won’t be long before they are entrusted with the fortunes of Indian cricket. Their talent is apparent. Their allure is instant. And it is all because they make the game look easy.

A Rahul back-foot punch is a masterpiece in minimalism. Look at it long enough and you start to wonder what all this fuss around batting is even about. Any of Pant’s shots – whether it is a drive, a slog, or even just him overbalancing at the crease – is a spectacle. Look at it long enough and everything else starts to feel a bit bleh. Including that one video of a kitten and an alligator becoming best friends.

It’s a given that everyone will be at the DY Patil stadium just to watch Rahul and Pant go at it, but the outcome of Thursday’s game may hinge on the people around them. Lucknow Super Giants have batting depth like nobody’s business. But their death bowling is propped up on just one man’s shoulders – Avesh Khan. Delhi Capitals have a tantalising array of bowlers to choose from, but their middle order could do with a little more gravitas.

In the news

David Warner and Anrich Nortje will likely walk into the Capitals XI with the opener finally out of quarantine and the fast bowler having recovered well from a back injury.

There is a chance the Super Giants might also be getting some reinforcement. Reports suggest Marcus Stoinis, the allrounder whom they acquired ahead of the February auction, could be available for selection.

Likely XIs

Lucknow Super Giants: 1 KL Rahul (capt), 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Evin Lewis, 4 Marcus Stoinis, 5 Deepak Hooda, 6 Ayush Badoni, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 Jason Holder, 9 Ankit Rajpoot, 10 Ravi Bishnoi, 11 Avesh Khan

Delhi Capitals: 1 David Warner, 2 Prithvi Shaw, 3 Sarfaraz Khan/Yash Dhull/Mandeep Singh, 4 Rishabh Pant (capt & wk), 5 Lalit Yadav, 6 Rovman Powell, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Anrich Nortje, 11 Mustafizur Rahman

Strategy punt

  • The T20 stats for Warner vs Ravi Bishnoi tells a compelling tale: four balls, five runs, two dismissals. As much as this season has been about fast bowlers having fun with the new ball, perhaps Super Giants might consider sneaking in an over from their legspinner, especially if the payout is the wicket of a T20 world champion.
  • Capitals might also ponder starting with pace off given Axar Patel’s excellent T20 record against Rahul: 14 balls, 13 runs, three dismissals.
  • Stats that matter

  • The average first-innings score at DY Patil stadium in this IPL has been 174, and while teams winning the toss have always chosen to bowl, they haven’t always won the match. The split is actually a very even 2-2.
  • Deepak Hooda seems to finally be fulfilling his potential as a middle-order power-hitter. Check out his strike rate splits: 86 (first ten balls), 165 (11-20 balls), 180 (21-30 balls), 186 (30+ balls).
  • Among players with a minimum of 750 runs in IPL powerplays, Prithvi Shaw’s strike rate of 147 is second only to Jos Buttler’s 150.
  • Capitals are coming off a loss where Pant’s wicket took the game away from them. Super Giants will be mindful of that and might look to match him up with Bishnoi. Since IPL 2020, Pant is among the top five slowest-scoring batters against legspin (min. 50 runs scored) with a strike rate of just 105.
  • Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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