Lucknow and Kolkata will play each other at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune on May 7. Both teams have had completely different performances so far. The Men In Mint Green have won seven out of 10 games while the two-time winners have only won four out of 10. Kolkata is on the edge as they need to win every game while the Indian T20 League debutants need to win only one game to virtually step into the playoffs. Both teams will be looking to keep their winning momentum going.
Lucknow:Â The team is coming off a close win against Delhi. With that win, they have earned 14 points and are just two more points away from almost getting to the playoffs. Their bowling is their strong suit with the presence of Avesh Khan, Dushmantha Chameera, Jason Holder, Mohsin Khan etc. KL Rahul at the top has been magnificent as well. However, Lucknow will need their middle order to stand up as well. Talking about their playing XI, Avesh Khan, who missed the last game due to injury, could come back, which means that K. Gowtham might have to sit out.
KL Rahul:Â The skipper of the team is the leading run-getter for his side with 451 runs in 10 games including two hundreds. Notably, his strike rate has been 145.01 which is impressive given that his team’s middle order has misfired. The right-hander will be an important player in the next game.
Avesh Khan:Â The pacer hasn’t been able to come close to the last year’s glory when he took more than 20 wickets. However, he has been impressive with an average of 22.45 while picking 11 wickets in eight games. His tearaway pace could trouble the Kolkata batters, who have struggled in the tournament.
Probable XI:Â KL Rahul (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya, Marcus Stoinis, Ayush Badoni, Jason Holder, Mohsin Khan, Avesh Khan/Krishnappa Gowtham, Dushmantha Chameera, Ravi Bishnoi
Kolkata:Â The team finally broke their five-match losing streak against Rajasthan. However, they are still hanging by a thread as far as playoff qualifications are concerned. They need to win their remaining four games to reach the top four. For that, they need to solve their top order issues. Aaron Finch has been poor with the bat and can be replaced by Pratham Singh, who is a top-order batter in the Indian domestic cricket. Their bowling apart from Sunil Narine have not performed well as well.
Rinku Singh:Â The youngster from Uttar Pradesh shot to fame with an impressive 40-odd against Rajasthan. He shown the cricketing world what he is capable of with his impressive stroke play. The left-hander will be keen to do well inÂ next game as well.
Umesh Yadav:Â The right-arm pacer has blown hot and cold this season. He started well with being in the top five wicket takers in the early phase of the tournament, but has had poor returns in the last few games. However, the India pacer has the ability to bounce back and could do well in the next game.
Probable XI: Pratham Singh/Aaron Finch, Anukul Roy, Shreyas Iyer (capt), Baba Indrajith (wk), Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Rinku Singh, Sunil Narine, Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Shivam Mavi
Venue: MCA Stadium, Pune
Time:Â 07:30 PM IST
Live Telecast:Â Star Sports Network and Disney+Hotstar
Pitch Report: The last game at the venue between Chennai and Hyderabad saw batters enjoying their time in the middle. However, the pitches are getting slow and batters have to play a clever game to score runs. They need to get set before cutting loose.