Lucknow Super Giants and Rajasthan Royals gear up for IPL clash amidst injury concerns | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: All eyes are on KL Rahul as he prepares to lead Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), after recovering from a quadriceps injury, against Rajasthan Royals in their opening match of the new Indian Premier League season on Sunday.
Rahul’s return to action not only raises questions about his form but also highlights his fitness as he shoulders the responsibility of captaincy.
The absence of Rahul from the recent Test matches against England due to discomfort in his right quadriceps has sparked concerns about his readiness for the IPL season. Having previously undergone thigh surgery, Rahul’s fitness journey will be closely monitored as he aims to lead LSG to success, building on their previous playoff appearances.
While Rahul is expected to focus primarily on his batting, his wicket-keeping skills could provide a strategic advantage, particularly in the context of his potential inclusion in the T20 World Cup squad.
In contrast, his counterpart, Sanju Samson, also faces scrutiny as he leads Rajasthan Royals. Both captains carry the dual responsibility of leading their teams while vying for selection in the Indian squad for the upcoming ICC event.
Rajasthan Royals, having narrowly missed out on a second IPL title in 2022, boast a formidable batting lineup led by in-form players such as Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jos Buttler. However, they face challenges in the pace bowling department due to injuries to key players like Mark Wood and David Willey.
Meanwhile, LSG will rely on the batting prowess of Quinton de Kock, Marcus Stoinis, and Nicholas Pooran to anchor their innings. However, their pace bowling resources are stretched thin, leaving them to depend heavily on their spin department, featuring the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Ravi Bishnoi.
As both teams navigate through injury concerns and selection dilemmas, the IPL debut of LSG’s coach, Justin Langer, adds an intriguing element to the clash.
Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson (c), Jos Buttler, Shubham Dubey, Shimron Hetmyer, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Dhruv Jurel, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Riyan Parag, Rovman Powell, Kunal Singh Rathore, Ravichandran Ashwin, Donovan Ferreira, Avesh Khan, Trent Boult, Nandre Burger, Yuzvendra Chahal, Prasidh Krishna, Navdeep Saini, Sandeep Sharma, Kuldeep Sen, Abid Mushtaq, Tanush Kotian.
Lucknow Super Giants: KL Rahul (c), Quinton de Kock, Nicholas Pooran, Ayush Badoni, Kyle Mayers, Marcus Stoinis, Deepak Hooda, Devdutt Padikkal, Ravi Bishnoi, Naveen-ul-Haq, Krunal Pandya, Yudhvir Singh, Prerak Mankad, Yash Thakur, Amit Mishra, Shamar Joseph, Mayank Yadav, Mohsin Khan, K. Gowtham, Shivam Mavi, Arshin Kulkarni, M. Siddharth, Ashton Turner, David Willey, Mohd. Arshad Khan.
Match starts at 3:30 PM IST.
(With inputs from PTI)

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