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IPL: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Lucknow Super Giants Predictions

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Playing their first ever IPL edition and quite near to become the first team to qualify for the play-offs, Lucknow Super Giants look to settle for nothing less than a Maiden Championship title this year.

There were quite speculations around this new franchise once they stepped in the IPL but they have certified their place through their skill set and some clinical performances.

With a win in the 53rd IPL match on this Saturday, Super Giants will easily march into the next stage of the tournament.

On the quite opposite side, Kolkata Knight Riders campaign this year has been nothing short of horrible, to say the least.

If they don’t manage to sneak past a win this Saturday, they are all but gone from this year’ IPL.

KKR could not get many things straight this year.

The combination which looked quite solid on the paper with some veteran players could not deliver on the ground hence just managing 4 wins so far in this season.

Kolkata ended their 4 match losing streak by beating Rajasthan Royals in their last match but this consoling win will not be enough to push them over the line and to the play-offs.

Their batting has not clicked with some exceptions.

Bowling looked meagre except for Sunil Narine.

Narine has the second best economy rate of 5.00 this season for bowlers who bowled around 10 overs in the middle phase of the game.

Knight Riders have also the worst average of 14 of opening stand this year as they have tested around 5 opening pairs this season, the most by any team.

Lucknow has got their combination right for the most part.

Manish Pandey was left out after he struggled with his form and brought an extra bowler.

This gave Deepak Hooda an opportunity at one down which he cashed in perfectly scoring quick fire 34 and 52 in two games.

Lucknow’s bowling has been above the par with the likes of Chameera, Mohsin Khan and Ravi Bishnoi.

Jason Holder has been critical for them bowling the death overs with his special skill set.

Match details:

Venue: Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune

Date: 7th May 2022

Time: 7:30 pm IST

Head to head past record:

Match 53 will be the first instance where both teams will face each other for the first time ever in an IPL match.

Probable Playing 11 – Lucknow Super Giants:

Quinton de Kock(wk), KL Rahul(C), Deepak Hooda, Marus Stoinis, Krunal Pandya, Ayush Badoni, Jason Holder, K Gowtham, Mohsin Khan, Dushmantha Chmaeera, Ravi Bishnoi

Probable Playing 11 – Kolkata Knight Riders:

B Indrajith(wk), Aaron Finch, Sheryas Iyer(C), Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Andre Russel, Anukul Roy, Sunil Narine, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Shivam Mavi

Star bowler of the match:

Dushmantha Chameera

Star batsman of the match:

Nitish Rana

Who will win?

Ten matches have been played at Pune this year and in all these matches, captains have sought to prefer bowling second in the game.

However, the result has been on the contrary.

The team bowling second has only won 3 out of 10 matches.

So, the toss will be looked upon as crucial and also, what decision the team takes who wins the toss.

Lucknow Super Giants are a clear favourite in this game but Knight Riders can pull a rabbit out of hat and create an upset in Saturday’s game.

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MS Dhoni almost tried to ‘spoil’ Sachin Tendulkar’s significant milestone; Shocked? Check out how

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Sachin Tendulkar & MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni is one of India’s most loved cricketers, thanks to his heroics as a wicketkeeper batter and captain over the years. The former India skipper has had the privilege of witnessing milestones created by his teammates from up close many times. Remember Dhoni at the non-striker’s end when Yuvraj Singh hit six sixes in an over against England’s Stuart Broad in the 2007 World Cup to score the fastest T20 half-century?

He was also at the other end when the legendary Sachin Tendulkar achieved a significant milestone in his 24-year cricket career. India vs South Africa, second ODI of the three-match series at Gwalior on 24 February 2010. Opting to bat first, the home team dominated right from the start despite losing Virender Sehwag in the fourth over.

India were 392/3 in 49.2 overs and Tendulkar was at the striker’s end with four balls remaining. The anticipation and excitement of the fans was not to see the team score break the barrier of 400 runs, but the Master Blaster was on 199. Yes, you read that right! He was on the verge of reaching a seemingly impossible milestone.

Finally, the moment came when Tendulkar hit the ball for a single. History was made at the Gwalior International Cricket Stadium. The batting maestro added yet another feather in his cap as he became the first player on the planet to score 200 in men’s ODIs.

MSD made Indian fans’ heart rate higher 

But now you might be thinking how Dhoni has played an antagonist role here. Believe it or not, Tendulkar was almost denied the opportunity to score a double century, not by his opposition, but by his own teammate. It was none other than the then captain of the team, who was standing at the non-striker’s end – ‘Captain Cool’ MSD.

When Tendulkar moved to 199, there were 14 balls left in India’s innings. But he never got a strike in the next 10 balls as Dhoni went berserk in an attempt to increase the team score. He scored 25 runs off those 10 balls, but he played with the patience of fans and his teammate at the other end. But with four balls left in the innings, Dhoni managed to give the strike to Tendulkar and the world witnessed the great man achieve the impossible.

Tendulkar remained unbeaten on 200 off 147 balls and Dhoni made a 35-ball 68 not out to take team total to 401/3. In reply, South Africa were bowled out for 248 runs and India won by 153 runs to clinch the series 2-0 with one game to spare.

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No mercy from India! Jasprit Bumrah set to return for final Test against England in Dharamsala

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Jasprit Bumrah

Team India have pocked the five-match Test series against England with a five-wicket win in the fourth match. With a 3-1 lead in the series, they will head into the final Test in Dharamsala as a confident unit. While it is crucial for Ben Stokes and Co. to leave the touring nation on a positive note, the home side is likely to experiment with their playing XI for the low-key fixture.

According to reports, the Indian cricket management is considering resting a few players for the final Test due to the workload. India were without some key players due to withdrawal and injuries throughout the series. However, the youngsters stepped up and gave the desired result, gaining the confidence of the management.

Meanwhile, the Men in Blue are not going to make it easy for the visitors when the two teams clash at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium from March 7. As per Cricbuzz, elite pacer and the team’s vice-captain Jasprit Bumrah is set to be recalled. This shows that India will go hard in the upcoming match and aim to settle the series 4-1.

Bumrah was rested for the fourth Test in Ranchi as he played three matches on a trot. The 30-year-old has been carefully managed by management since his return from a back injury last year after a nearly year-long absence. He made his comeback in the T20I series against Ireland and after that, he played only in crucial fixtures like the Asia Cup, ODI World Cup, and Test matches. With the 2024 T20 World Cup also around the corner, it will be important for the team to manage Bumrah’s workload.

KL Rahul doubtful for Dharamsala Test 

KL Rahul, who was deemed 90% fit before the third Test in Rajkot, has not fully recovered and is unlikely to play in the final match. Rahul suffered a quadriceps strain in the series opener and missed the next two matches. The report states that the Karnataka cricketer has been sent overseas for treatment.

It remains to be seen whether the under-fire Rajat Patidar will get another chance to prove his mettle in Rahul’s absence. Patidar looked promising in the first innings of the Hyderabad Test, but then lost his rhythm and suffered a series of low scores, including two ducks.

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‘Ye toh Mohammad Kaif 2.0 nikla’ – Fans react as Brendon McCullum accepts series defeat against India and claim themselves to be better than they were in 2022

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Brendon McCullum has reacted to England’s performance in the ongoing series against India. The visiting side are currently trailing 1-3 in the series after the conclusion of the 4th Test in Ranchi. With the fifth Test set to happen in Dharamshala, England have lost the series by all means. They do have a chance to end the series on a high note by winning the last Test.

After the loss against India in the 4th Test, McCullum was in the press conference. He claimed that they are a better side than they were 18 months ago. Brendon acknowledged the fact that they lost the series against India and could not win in the Ashes. He felt that given the way England is playing, there is a good chance of them doing special things in the next 18 months in Test cricket.

“We’ve lost this series and we didn’t win the Ashes, but we’re a better cricket team than we were 18 months ago and we’ve got an opportunity in the next 18 months to do some pretty special shitz. I’m fizzing for it, to be honest,” said McCullum as he was hopeful of a bright future for England in Tests. It is true that England were not as competitive under Joe Root as they are under Ben Stokes.

Improved competitiveness of England

While Root’s tenure was good before the pandemic, the team struggled under his captaincy. 2021 and early 2020 were the years when England was demoralised. They lost in India 1-3 and trailed 1-2 at home against the same opponent. For the first time in over 20 years, NZ beat England in Tests in their own backyard. In 2022, England lost the Ashes 0-4 away from home.

They also lost to the West Indies 0-1 which acted as a final nail in the coffin of Root’s leadership. However, things have changed drastically under Stokes and McCullum. They won the series against New Zealand at home and clean-swept Pakistan in their own backyard. They drew the Ashes 2-2 and drew the series against NZ 1-1 before losing the series against India.

Here’s how the fans reacted to the statement of Brendon McCullum –

 

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