LSG aka Lucknow Super Giants have played out of their skins to punch above their limit in IPL 2023. They lost most of their matches played at Lucknow, their home ground. LSG lost their captain, KL Rahul mid-way. They needed Krunal Pandya to lead them into playoffs. He did the required with support from Nicholas Pooran and Marcus Stoinis. Both of them raised their hands up in middle-order to cover up for top order failures. LSG now needs to overcome a giant like MI.
Mumbai Indians aka MI, have always found themselves in precarious situations and worked their way out. MI has ended at 10th position in Mumbai grounds, last year. But this year, they reversed that with batting prowess. If they reached to playoffs, they did on the back of their batting performances chasing down 200 targets. LSG have spinners to curtail MI on Chennai pitch. But can they? Do they have playoffs or big match temperament? MI has been in such situations and even won the trophy 5 times. LSG needs to learn from CSK and MI, to keep their task simple.
Give the players who have done well for you, enough time to recuperate and understand conditions. Ravi Bishnoi, Mohsin Khan have been their pick of the bowlers towards the later part of the season. Krishnappa Gowtham has been their dependable bowler to restrict batters on spin friendly pitches. Amit Mishra might be needed on Chennai track too. Krunal Pandya will be needed for sure. But if dew arrives, then LSG needs their young pace attack to step up. Marcus Stoinis played a great knock against MI for LSG to give them the required win against them.
But this time, MI will also come up with the horses for courses kind of team. Akash Madhwal and Kumar Kartikeya will be their big picks along with consistent Piyush Chawla. MI batting looks to unsettle opposition bowlers and in spin-friendly conditions experience of Rohit Sharma, who did not fire much, will be key. Suryakumar Yadav and Cameron Green have been great in pace friendly pitches. Can they fire against LSG spinners? That will be key on traditionally slow Chennai pitches. Batting first or second will be key for LSG and MI, in absence of dew.
MI could go with their formula of chasing down while LSG found themselves wanting in chases. Could that aspect be playing match into LSG hands if they have to set the target? All these questions will be answered in next 4-5 hours by both the teams. IPL 2023 Playoffs have started great with CSK and GT match. Batting and bowling had equal chances to shine. MI would be hoping for more batting friendly conditions while LSG will be hoping Lucknow kind of pitch. Let’s hope for an exciting contest.
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