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On the up DC run into high-flying Lucknow


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Delhi Capitals' topsy-turvy journey in IPL 2022 has hit another high-point, which they'd be hoping to stay at. Through their WLLWLWLW season so far, DC have struggled to keep to a consistent eleven due to various factors. But with a nearly fully-available first eleven, they've started to hit the right notes even as there are rougher edges that would need polishing.

The positives include the form of their openers, Kuldeep Yadav and the recent hitting displays of Rovman Powell which are all crucial cogs in DC's make-up. Their biggest worry though would be the form of their pacers, and especially the likes of Shardul Thakur, who is yet to mark his presence in the tournament. Their powerplay bowling woes remain a big blank in their jigsaw even as the other parts are seemingly coming together.

Their mid-table positioning has been resultant of their varied problems on and off the field, but as they make a move to get into the top half they face a team that's already there and in form with back-to-back wins.

KL Rahul's Lucknow Super Giants have made rapid strides on the back of some outstanding individual performances, particularly in the batting, covering up for those not up to the mark as yet.

Like Delhi, they too would want to get their missing pieces going into the second half. And an improved show from their middle-order might be high on that wishlist.

When: May 1, 2022 at 15:30 IST

Where: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

What to expect: This will be the first day game at the Wankhede Stadium this season which has seen teams be successful at both defending (five wins) and chasing (six wins), almost equally. The afternoon conditions though will add other dimensions to the contest.

Head to Head: Lucknow beat Delhi in their previous encounter, chasing 149 with ease

Team Watch:

Delhi Capitals:

Tactics and match ups: Could there be a case for using more spin upfront? DC's pacers have picked the fewest wickets in powerplays in this season. Additionally: Quinton de Kock has been dismissed twice in 20 balls by Kuldeep Yadav, and KL Rahul has been dismissed twice by Axar Patel in 16 balls.

Player availability: Khaleel Ahmed missed out on the previous game due to an injured hamstring but was not missed thanks to Chetan Sakariya's good outing. There could be a toss-up if Khaleel passes fit before the game.

Probable XI: Prithvi Shaw, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Rishabh Pant (c/wk), Lalit Yadav, Rovman Powell, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya/Khaleel Ahmed

Lucknow Super Giants

Tactics and Match ups: Krunal Pandya has been the in-form bowler for Lucknow but as was the case in their previous encounter, where he bowled only two overs, the presence of Rishabh Pant in the middle-order could skew the equation. Pandya has dismissed Pant thrice but against a strike-rate of close to 160. Additionally, Pant's record against pace (6 dismissals) this season could alter Lucknow's plans.

Probable XI: Quinton de Kock (wk), KL Rahul (c), Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya, Marcus Stoinis, Ayush Badoni, Jason Holder, Dushmantha Chameera, Mohsin Khan, Avesh Khan, Ravi Bishnoi

Did you know:

-No other Delhi Capitals player apart from Kuldeep Yadav has bagged a Man of the Match award in IPL 2022, and Yadav has bagged it in all their four wins so far this season.

- DC is the only team in IPL 2022 whose spinners have taken more wickets than their pacers.

- Lucknow have struggled to find a steady No. 3 and have tried four options so far in nine games, with only two scores in the 30s from this position

What they said:

We are not thinking about the points table and take one game at a time. We have to be more clear with our plans and that is something we can improve - Rishabh Pantwants more from his team even after a victory

Krunal has been brilliant throughout the tournament. This season he has really worked on his bowling. Bowling economically is important but he has been giving us two three wickets in the middle overs - KL Rahul is pleased with his star spinner

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