The two new franchises, which have seen the Indian Premier League extended to 10 teams, are set to face off in their IPL openers. Both teams will no doubt be desperate to start their history with a win, but only one side can come out on top. Will it be Gujarat or Lucknow sending their fans home happy? Read on for our full Gujarat Titans vs Lucknow Super Giants preview and prediction:
Gujarat Titans vs Lucknow Super Giants Preview and Prediction
Gujarat Titans have put together a strong side. Jason Roy’s withdrawal from the tournament due to bubble fatigue is a blow for the team, but they have solid options in that department in Shubman Gill, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Matthew Wade. They may look to move the Australian keeper-batsman down the order, however, after his success as a finisher for his national side. Vijay Shankar, Abhinav Manohar and David Miller make up the middle order, with captain Hardik Pandya at number six.
Rahul Tewatia has also proven himself a destructive hitter at number seven which may see Wade preferred at the top. Rashid Khan remains one of the most effective T20 bowlers in the game, as well as an inventive batter when needed. He will share spinning duties with R Sai Kishore, previously of Chennai Super Kings. Lockie Ferguson’s pace will keep the opposition batters on their toes, with Mohammad Shami offering a metronymic counterpoint to the Kiwi in the Gujarat attack.
Lucknow Super Giants boast probably the best opening pair in captain KL Rahul and Quentin de Kock. The South African’s absence will certainly be keenly felt by the Mumbai Indians. Manish Pandey will bat at three. Marcus Stoinis – one of the key figures in Australia’s T20 World Cup triumph and a former-Delhi Capitals stalwart – will come in at number four when released from Australia duty. In the meantime, Evin Lewis may be called on to adapt to a middle-order spot.
All-rounders Deepak Hooda and Krunal Pandya will bat at five and six respectively. Jason Holder’s absence on West Indies duty leaves another hole to fill, with spinning all-rounders Karan Sharma and Krishnappa Gowtham possible replacements for Holder. Wrist-spinner Ravi Bishnoi is a proven IPL bowler. Seamers Dushmantha Chameera and Avesh Khan will have a considerable responsibility here, with the experienced (in domestic cricket) Ankit Rajpoot also likely to play to balance the LSG attack.
Lucknow Super Giants look like they will be a force to be reckoned with when they are at full strength. But with some crucial absences due to international duty, it is hard to describe them as even particularly close to full strength heading into this match. By contrast, Gujarat Titans have all of their players available, which may well give them a crucial advantage. Lucknow still have the stronger top order, but Gujarat have the edge everywhere else and that should be reflected in the result.
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