IPL 2023

“Every game from now on would be very important”- LSG captain KL Rahul after convincing win over PBKS


April 29 2023
KL Rahul

KL Rahul-led LSG moved to second place in IPL 2023 points table with 10 points from 8 games.

The IPL 2023 saw Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) facing off against Punjab Kings (PBKS) at the PCA stadium in Mohali in the 38th match of the tournament. It proved to be a one-sided game in favor of the visitors who completely blew the hosts out of competition.

PBKS captain Shikhar Dhawan won the toss in his comeback match after injury and chose to bowl first, a decision he regretted badly.

LSG went on to post a record 257/5 in 20 overs as Marcus Stoinis top-scored with 72 off 40 balls with 6 fours and 5 sixes. Other major scorers for the team were Kyle Mayers (54 in 24 balls), Ayush Badoni (43 in 24 balls), and Nicholas Pooran who made 45 in 19 balls with 7 fours and 1 six.

This was the second-highest IPL total ever, just behind RCB’s 263/5 against PWI in 2013.

In reply, Atharva Taide tried his best with 66 runs to his name, and Liam Livingstone (23), Sam Curran (21) and Jitesh Sharma (24) were the other notable scorers. But PBKS were never in the game as they were bowled out for 201 in 19.5 overs and lost by 56 runs.

After the match, Shikhar Dhawan explained that giving away too many runs and playing an extra fast bowler backfired for the home side, against whom, LSG posted the record second total in the Indian Premier League history.

He said: “We gave too many runs away and we paid the price for it. [Asked about the decision to bowl first at the toss] I feel that the strategy to play with one extra fast bowler backfired whereas KL used an extra spinner. I tried to change something and it didn’t work but that’s all right. It’s good learning for me and we’ll come back better stronger.”

Dhawan also spoke about the use of impact substitutes and the learning curve associated with it.

“[Asked about Shahrukh held back to No. 8] There was no particular reason. Liv was there and even Sam hits quite well so that’s how we kept it. [Using the impact sub] It’s good. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but that’s how it is,” he added.

On the other hand, winning captain KL Rahul said that after the morale-shattering loss to Gujarat in the last game, the players just let loose and went away from cricket for a while. He revealed that if he had won the toss, he would’ve chased as well.

He also said that the pitch was conducive for batting and given that he played for Punjab previously, he knew what the surface offered.

Rahul said: “It is so against the T20 trend. Can’t put a finger on it. Happy that we got the win. Every game from now on would be very important. We had a break after the last game. We came back fresher after that. We were clear as to how to bat. When you see such wickets, you get excited as batters. Obviously, when we play back home, the wickets are different and challenging and when you come to play on wickets like this, you get excited.”

He was also all praise of Kyle Mayers for giving them that super start and then Stoinis and Pooran giving the perfect finish to the LSG team.  

“Getting 250 or 260 speaks very highly of our batting. Those first two or three overs, Kyle put pressure on their bowling and that set the tone for us and we took it from there. We spend a lot of time thinking about what tactics we can use. We have three power hitters in Kyle, Pooran, and Stoinis, and then guys who can bat around them. We just try to use players in situations and see how we can get the best out of them,” he added.

Marcus Stoinis was named the Player of the Match for his 72-run knock. But he could only bowl 1.5 overs and picked one wicket as he hurt his finger trying to stop a ball and didn’t return to the field after that.

He said about the finger injury: “The finger is alright. It is better now. We will get scans done.

Stoinis then talked about finishing the game and that’s the role assigned to him in the LSG team.

We were joking about the difference between this wicket and the one at our home. Was just trying to build partnerships. Ayush got off to a flier as well. I do like to take responsibility of batting in the middle order and finishing it off. I have batted everywhere in my career. I was swinging a few in the nets. So, they got excited and gave me the new ball. No one loves to bowl on a flat one. The home wicket suits me more as my change of pace helps me there,” he added.

LSG will next face RCB at home on May 1 and CSK on May 3 while PBKS will clash with CSK in Chennai on April 30 and then will face MI in Mohali on May 3.

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