Lucknow Super Giants mentor Gautam Gambhir gave a long speech to the players on Tuesday after their 62-run defeat against Gujarat Titans, asking them to rise to the challenge. Gambhir stressed on the fact that “there is no place for being weak in a tournament like the IPL or in sport…”
So, on Sunday, when the Super Giants take on Rajasthan Royals at the Brabourne Stadium, the players would be hoping to follow mentor’s advice and ensure a spot in the playoffs. The team is just a win away from sealing a berth.
For Rajasthan Royals, this is a must-win game. Having lost three of its last four matches, the Sanju Samson-led side must return to winning ways if it wishes to stay in the playoffs race.
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In this edition of the tournament, the Brabourne Stadium has witnessed some high-scoring fixtures, and things may not be much different on Sunday. Keeping that in mind, both the teams would be eyeing a good start with the bat.
For Lucknow, captain K. L. Rahul, who has amassed 459 runs so far, needs to ensure that he provides a headstart along with his opening partner Quinton de Kock, and the middle-order would rely heavily on Deepak Hooda. In a crunch game, it is important that the other batters, too, step up.
All eyes on Sanju
For Royals, the focus will once again be on Jos Buttler, who has scored 625 runs in 12 outings. However, if the team needs to win its remaining two games, captain Sanju has to show consistency. And especially with no clarity over Shimron Hetmyer’s availability, Sanju will need to take charge of the middle-order.
In bowling, Royals will bank on its spin duo Yuzvendra Chahal and R. Ashwin, while Prasidh Krishna and Trent Boult also need to step up. The Lucknow outfit, on the other hand, will expect Avesh Khan, Mohsin Khan and Jason Holder to fire.
With playoff berths at stake, both teams have lots to play for.