Bangalore and Lucknow will lock horns in the Eliminator at the Eden Gardens Stadium in Kolkata on May 25. Both teams are coming off wins in their last games. However, these wins count for less in this do-or-die encounter. The winners will head to Qualifier 2 where they will face the loser of Qualifier 1. On the other hand, the loser will see the end of their journey to the title race. Both teams played each other only once in the tournament, where Bangalore beat Lucknow by 18 runs.
They beat the table-toppers Gujarat in their last league game. However, they had to depend on Mumbai to enter the playoffs. Now they have their fate in their own hands and can work towards winning the ever-elusive trophy. For that, they need the batters such as skipper Faf du Plessis, Virat Kohli, and Glenn Maxwell to carry on with the newly-found form.
The likes of Rajat Patidar, Dinesh Karthik, and Shahbaz Ahmed have rescued the team with the bat and would like to do the same if needed. Talking about their bowling, pace spearhead Mohammed Siraj’s poor form has been a worry for the team. Siddharth Kaul, who replaced Siraj in the last game, also found it difficult to hit the proper line and length. Apart from them, the likes of Wanindu Hasaranga, Harshal Patel, Josh Hazlewood, Shahbaz Ahmed, and Glenn Maxwell have done well with the ball
Virat Kohli: The former skipper found his old mojo with a fluent 73 against Gujarat. His body language during the knock was very different from the rest of the season. His fans would be hoping for him to do well in the all-important game.
Wanindu Hasaranga: The all-rounder has been the second-highest wicket-taker with 24 scalps to his name. He has been picking wickets in the middle-overs of the game. He could be the one to watch out for in the next game.
Probable Playing XI: Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis (c), Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, Mahipal Lomror, Shahbaz Ahmed, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Harshal Patel, Wanindu Hasaranga, Mohammed Siraj, Josh Hazlewood
The team won a thriller against Kolkata where the openers, KL Rahul and Quinton de Kock, remained unbeaten. They looked like finishing in the top-two alongside Gujarat, only to be displaced by Rajasthan, who won their last game against Chennai to finish in the second position. Meanwhile, their bowling has been their strongest suit with the presence of Jason Holder, Avesh Khan, Mohsin Khan, and Ravi Bishnoi.
Their batting has been highly dependent on the likes of skipper Rahul, De Kock, and Deepak Hooda. In the last game, they included Manan Vohra and Evin Lewis to strengthen their batting. Expect the same playing XI in this game.
Quinton de Kock: The wicketkeeper batter scored an unbeaten 140 in the last game. He has the ability to tear apart bowling attacks. The left-hander could be an important player in the next game.
Avesh Khan: The pacer has picked 17 wickets in 12 games. He has been picking wickets at important junctures of a game. He might prove to be effective during the Eliminator.
Probable Playing XI: Quinton de Kock (wk), KL Rahul (c), Manan Vohra, Evin Lewis, Deepak Hooda, Marcus Stoinis, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jason Holder, Avesh Khan, Mohsin Khan, Ravi Bishnoi
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Date: May 25, 2022
Time: 7:30 PM IST
Broadcasting details: Star Sports and Disney + Hotstar
The game will be played 24 hours after the Qualifier 1 between Rajasthan and Gujarat. The pitch might be good for batting although the atmosphere will provide assistance to swing bowlers. Expect the teams to bat first due to knockout pressure.
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