Image Source - Twitter

IPL 2022 – Kolkata Knight Riders vs Lucknow Super Giants Match 66 – Preview

The Lucknow Super Giants have had a hectic few days, and not in a good manner. They were at the top of the points table only last week, but have already dropped to third place and, disappointingly, have yet to secure a playoff spot.

Back-to-back losses in their last two games, which LSG has experienced for the first time this season, have put them on precarious footing ahead of their last league game against the Kolkata Knight Riders, and the best thing they can do is go on and win it. That would also make a good argument for a top-two finish, though the Rajasthan Royals, who play their last league match a few days later, will have the advantage of knowing exactly what to do to finish ahead.

KKR, on the other hand, is located in diametrically opposed quarters. Their dormant season has been resurrected by back-to-back victories, but a victory over LSG will not suffice. All they can do is hope for a big one and keep their NRR (0.160) ahead of the Delhi Capitals (0.255). That would make DC’s game against the Mumbai Indians a must-win.

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Lucknow Super Giants Match 66 – Pitch Report

Captains should win the toss and bat first. With the pitches wearing thin, the case is straightforward. By chance or plan, KKR uncovered it in their last two games. If LSG wins the toss, the case for batting first becomes even clearer. With the exception of MI and CSK, they have the best record batting first and the worst record chasing this season. In fact, their last four losses have all occurred while trailing.

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Lucknow Super Giants Match 66 – Tactics and Lineups

Kolkata Knight Riders

In their previous game, Umesh Yadav returned to the lineup, while Sam Billings took over the gloves from Sheldon Jackson, filling the fourth overseas place lost by home-bound Pat Cummins. With Ajinkya Rahane suffering a Grade-III hamstring injury, that combination will be forced to adapt. It may mean a return to the top of the order for Baba Indrajith, or Jackson could be inserted as an opener in a left-field move.

The way KKR bowls in the PowerPlay could determine the outcome of the game. Both openers have failed to cross 40 in each of LSG’s five losses this IPL; in each of their eight wins, at least one of them has. Furthermore, it’s not a bad moment to be bowling at KL Rahul, who comes into the game with scores of 10 (most recently), 8, and 0 in his previous three games.

Predicted Lineup – Venkatesh Iyer, Baba Indrajith/Sheldon Jackson, Nitish Rana, Shreyas Iyer(c), Sam Billings(w), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Varun Chakaravarthy

Lucknow Super Giants

LSG’s middle order is under pressure to deliver. LSG’s top three scorers have been Rahul (469), Quinton de Kock (362), and Deepak Hooda (406). Manish Pandey and Evin Lewis could be brought in to replace Ayush Badoni and Marcus Stoinis, respectively.

Nitish Rana has been instrumental in KKR’s late comeback, scoring 176 runs at an average of 44 in his last five games. He has also struck 22 sixes, the most by an Indian batter this season, and has established himself as a middle-overs spinner. However, in a four-man seam attack against LSG, he will have to contend with more pace than spin, which could make for an interesting match-up, especially given how Dushmantha Chameera and Jason Holder have blown hot and cold in the competition. Marcus Stoinis, who has previously gotten Rana, is expected to bowl a few at him.

Predicted Lineup – Quinton de Kock(w), KL Rahul(c), Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya, Ayush Badoni/Manish Pandey, Marcus Stoinis/Evin Lewis, Jason Holder, Mohsin Khan, Ravi Bishnoi, Dushmantha Chameera, Avesh Khan

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Lucknow Super Giants Match 66 – Trivia

KL Rahul has been removed for 10 or fewer 12 times since the beginning of 2018, with six of those coming this season alone and four in his previous five innings.

Shreyas Iyer has only allowed 115 runs in his last six innings, averaging 19.17 and an SR of 104.55.

Sunil Narine’s ER this season is only 5.48.