Spirited Lucknow seek to spoil Chennai's homecoming

By Real11 - Apr 3 2023 331 Views

High Flying Lucknow come out with a baton to poke at statistical advantages 

Chennai is home, and aren’t they pleased about it. The much awaited and the ultimate return is the theme for every side this season but MS Dhoni led Chennai perhaps feel a little more confident as they get back to their fortress; a venue where they’ve won far more than they’ve lost since the introduction of the tournament. 

Chennai won their last six of the nine fixtures played at this venue. This shows their ascendancy in their own backyard. So here they are again, in quest to prove their domination and right the wrongs of last season and get their 2023 campaign up and running. 

Thus Lucknow are the first ones this season to come with the stick to negate statistical advantages like these. They are heavily equipped with an explosive top order that shredded Delhi’s attack to pieces on a good wicket two days ago. It will be interesting to see if they can emulate it on a lot slower and stickier surface. This will determine their ability to challenge Chennai’s home reign and even lay out a plan on how to compete at Chepauk. 

A venue where spinners have held an upper hand over the years will once again be under the spotlight. The two teams have at least two southpaws in their top order which makes for some intriguing mini battles. Chennai would use their two left arm spinners (Ravindra Jadeja and Mitchel Santner) and Lucknow would employ their specialist spinner (Ravi Bishnoi, who bowls more googlies than leg spinners) who will turn the ball into the left handers. Which attack manages to pull off better damage control could have a major say in the direction the game takes. 

When: Chennai  vs Lucknow, April 3, 2023, 07:30 PM IST

Where: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

What to expect: Stephen Fleming has been yearning for grip and turn all the years playing away, so one can expect a turning track. The venue with the added canopies and the opened up I,J,K stands that played hosts to Australia in the ODI series finale last month where spinners took 11 of the 20 wickets to fall and Ravindra Jadeja bowled a highly economical spell. Expect both teams to go with at least two specialist spin bowlers in their team combinations. 

Head to Head: In the only meeting in the past between these two sides, Lucknow chased down Chennai’s mammoth total of 210 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai courtesy fifties from Quinton De Kock and Evin Lewis 

Team News:


Key Matchups and Tactics: MS Dhoni didn’t bowl Moeen Ali at all in Chennai’s inaugural match but could use him on Monday as Lucknow’s top order consists of two potent left handers namely Kyle Myres and Nicolas Pooran. Ali could prove effective against them. Mitchel Santner and Ravindra Jadeja will also be key as Kl Rahul’s strike rate considerably drops against left arm spinners. 

If Chennai bat first, leg spinner Prashant Solanki, who spent a lot of time at the nets mastering his craft on the eve of the game, could be an impact substitute alternative. If they field first, Solanki could get a nod ahead of Shivam Dube in the starting XI. 

Probable XI: Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Shivam Dube/Prashant Solanki, MS Dhoni, Deepak Chahar, Mitchell Santner, Rajvardhan Hangargekar


Key Match-ups and Tactics: Lucknow put on a clinical all round show in their opening game. Their spirited batting display was one of the main reasons behind their resounding win. Even after the early departure of their skipper, Lucknow batters expressed themselves freely without much trouble. Kyle Myres led the charge against Delhi and will be eager to continue his good run. Chennai’s premier Powerplay bowler Deepak Chahar on the other hand will look to get the early breakthroughs. Kl Rahul has enjoyed playing against  Chahar, having smashed him 120 runs in the 79 balls faced without being dismissed. He also averages a staggering 60.17 against the four time champions since 2019, with four half centuries in seven innings. 

Lucknow could use Krishnappa Gowtham as an impact player or even pick him in the starting XI if they bowl first, to bolster their spin bowling attack. 

Probable XI: KL Rahul, Kyle Mayers, Nicholas Pooran, Marcus Stoinis, Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya, Ayush Badoni/K Gowtham, Mark Wood, Jaydev Unadkat, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan    

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