Match Preview – Titans vs Super Giants, Indian Premier League 2023, 51st Match

Match Preview - Titans vs Super Giants, Indian Premier League 2023, 51st Match

Big Picture: Can Rahul-less LSG get their campaign back on track?

Lucknow Super Giants had one of the brighter starts to the IPL 2023 season, winning four of their first six games. Since then, however, they have won just one match in four, with their campaign losing some steam. In their last outing against Chennai Super Kings at home, Super Giants were struggling on 125 for 7 in 19.2 overs before persistent rain forced abandonment and points were shared. To make matters worse, LSG have also lost their captain KL Rahul, who has been ruled out of the season due to a thigh injury.
It doesn’t help then that they next face table-toppers Gujarat Titans, a team they are yet to beat in the tournament in three attempts. They had a chance to correct that number last time around. Chasing 136 for a win, Super Giants were comfortably placed on 105 for 1, needing 31 off 36, but a bizarre collapse saw them go down by seven runs.
Make no mistake, Super Giants are still primed to make the playoffs. They have 11 points and are placed second on the table, but have five teams tailing them very closely. With the league stage entering its business end, further slip-ups can hurt Super Giants big time.

As odd as it might sound, they will be relieved to move out of their home venue of Lucknow, where they have been winless in their last four games. Super Giants have been good travelers this season, with three of their four wins coming in away games and they will want to continue this trend in Ahmedabad.

Titans, on the other hand, have fewer problems, but playing at home is one of them. All three of their defeats this season have come in Ahmedabad, which might open a door for Super Giants.

They are returning home on the back of a nine-wicket rout of Rajasthan Royals, and have a foot in the playoffs. They need just one more win to reach that safe number of 16 on the points table and are more comfortably placed than most teams.

The match will also see the Pandya brothers come face to face for the first time as respective captains of their IPL teams.

Team news: Nair replaces Rahul; Little travels home

Karun Nair has been drafted into the Super Giants side as Rahul’s replacement for INR 50 lakh. Nair has played for five IPL franchises over the years and last turned out for Royals in 2022. For Titans, Josh Little will be traveling home for Ireland’s three-match ODI series against Bangladesh and will miss Titans’ next few games. He will return with the franchise after the third ODI on May 14.

Gujarat Titans: WLWWW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Lucknow Super Giants: LWLWL

Impact Player strategy: Does de Kock finally get a game?

Shubman Gill and Mohit Sharma have been the Impact swaps for Titans over the last three games, and that is likely to continue. They will have to find a replacement for Little and might consider bringing in Alzarri Joseph. Barring that, they are unlikely to make any changes to their XII.

Probable XII: 1 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Hardik Pandya (capt) 4 Vijay Shankar, 5 David Miller 6 Abhinav Manohar 7 Rahul Tewatia, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Alzarri Joseph, 10 Noor Ahmad, 11 Mohammed Shami, 12 Mohit Sharma

Super Giants have consistently subbed out Amit Mishra during the season, at times for Kyle Mayers or Ayush Badoni and that is likely to continue on Sunday. The key question remains whether or not Quinton de Kock will finally get a game. It was Manan Vohra, who opened the innings for Super Giants last time, but there is a chance they could slot in de Kock in place of Naveen-ul-Haq, or Marcus Stoinis, who hasn’t been in the greatest of form.

Probable XII: 1 Kyle Mayers, 2 Quinton de Kock, 3 Karan Sharma/Prerak Mankad, 4 Krunal Pandya (capt), 5 Marcus Stoinis, 6 Nicholas Pooran (wk), 7 Ayush Badoni, 8 K Gowtham, 9 Mohsin Khan, 10 Ravi Bishnoi, 11 Avesh Khan/Yash Thakur 12 Amit Mishra

There has been good bounce and carry for the fast bowlers in Ahmedabad, and pace has been the more successful entity. This will be the second day game this year at this venue, with the first being that Rinku Singh match where both sides scored over 200. It is expected to be hot and sultry in Ahmedabad with the temperatures likely to touch 39 degrees.

Stats and Trivia: Watch out for Krunal v Shami

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