The IPL 2022 will get its first confirmed playoffs team as Gujarat Titans take on Lucknow Super Giants at the MCA Stadium here on Tuesday. With GT and LSG on 16 points from 11 games, both look more or less certain to make the playoffs the way the points table stands right now. But will be keen to win this top-of-the-table clash on Tuesday for the obvious reasons. It’s important for the Lucknow Super Giants to maintain the winning momentum, having won four games on the trot.
Race for the Top 2 finish
Gujarat Titans on the other hand, will be keen to arrest the slide, having lost their last two games. And although both teams are almost guaranteed a spot in the playoffs, they will be keen to finish in the Top Two, to get two chances of making it to the final. That makes it a crucial game for either side. Both these teams, debutants in the tournament, opened their campaign against each other at the Wankhede Stadium on March 28. Not many would have imagined at that stage that the reverse fixture will be a battle of the Top Two sides in the tournament.
Titans won that game on March 28, thanks to late heroics from Rahul Tewatia and Abhinav Manohar. Titans will look to take inspiration from that game, but the Hardik Pandya-led outfit has depended too often on such heroics from the middle and lower order. Following a slightly lean patch in the middle of the tournament, their star opener Shubman Gill regained form with a half-century against the Mumbai Indians in the last game.
Gill boost for GT
Titans’ team management will be hoping to see another solid show from their opener against an in-form Lucknow bowling attack. In Mohsin Khan (at No.1) and Krunal Pandya (at No.3), they have two of the Top Three most economical bowlers. The likes of Dushmantha Chameera and Avesh Khan have supported them well, while the leg-spin of Ravi Bishnoi is always a threat, especially on a Pune pitch that has been gripping and stopping a bit for the past few games. It will be interesting to see how the Titans handle the relentless pressure from the Lucknow bowlers.