IPL 2023, LSG vs DC: Eyes on enforcer Marsh as Delhi looks to corner under-pressure Rahul's Lucknow
IPL 2023: Match 3 will happen between Lucknow Super Giants and Delhi Capitals in Lucknow on Saturday. DC's Mitchell Marsh will likely be the enforcer, while LSG's KL Rahul will be under pressure for his form. Here is the match preview.
Mitchell Marsh's brute power with the willow will be Delhi Capitals' (DC's) lethal weapon as they brace up for life without Rishabh Pant while starting its 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Saturday.
LSG, which will be playing at home for the first time, is an equally beleaguered outfit, if not more, with skipper KL Rahul going through the most challenging phase of his career and has been on a downward spiral for quite some time now. By the look of it, neither DC nor LSG looks like outfits that give you the vibe of a champion side like Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Mumbai Indians (MI) or, for that matter, Gujarat Titans (GT).
However, in the shortest format, equations could change at a hat's drop as the margin separating a master stroke from a harakiri is as thin as a thread. So, when DC begins its journey on Saturday evening at the Ekana Stadium, an Australian will hold the key to the start the franchise expects.
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And, that Australian isn't stocky New South Wales man David Warner, who is leading the side, but the giant from Western Australia, who has provided some trailer during the One-Day International (ODI) series against India with 12 sixes in three games -- 11 of which came in the first two encounters.
It seems that Marsh has got the hang of Indian tracks, and that can only augur well for DC. Marsh, who hasn't bowled his medium pacers for some time, will be a vital cog in PowerPlay (PP) overs if Warner and his flamboyant opening partner Prithvi Shaw, fail to get going.
DC head coach Ricky Ponting expects a lot from Shaw, and on his day, he can butcher any attack. Shaw also likes to work with the pace of deliveries, and Mark Wood in the opposition ranks, with speed above 150 clicks, gives him that opportunity. Warner has been a different beast in IPL and one of the league's most influential players, but his blazing blade has been missing for some time, and he is also coming back post elbow injury.
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He has yet to look in great rhythm exactly, but once the match starts, he could make everyone look and feel like a fool. But, with the sizzling Pant nursing a leg injury after a horrifying car accident, the DC middle-order save, Rovman Powell, doesn't inspire the highest confidence. Axar Patel's batting has gone to a different level in red-ball cricket, but there are no guarantees that the form will be replicated in the shortest format.
Yash Dhull still needs to look ready for top-flight cricket, and Sarfaraz Khan could be under immense pressure after being entrusted with the big gloves. On top of that, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, and Mustafizur Rahaman's absences from the first game due to national duty thins the bowling attack. Ishant Sharma has looked thoroughly out of rhythm, while Khaleel Ahmed and Chetan Sakariya aren't exactly pacers with intimidating qualities and cannot win cricket games single-handedly. Mukesh Kumar, set for debut, still needs to be tested at this level.
In most games, the eight overs between spinners Axar and Kuldeep Yadav will be crucial for DC. But the more significant point is whether Rahul, in his current form and mental frame, can seize the night against a weak bowling attack. How much will Kyle Mayers be able to compensate for Quinton de Kock, who is also available due to national commitments?
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These are questions that beg answers. In terms of 'Impact Player', Lucknow does have more variety at their disposal with someone like Amit Mishra, who could be used against Marsh or Powell. The rotund Mishra still has enough skills to stop batters in their tracks. For DC, Ponting is mulling using Mumbai's Aman Khan as an 'Impact Player', having seen him at the nets.
But, how LSG's tournament pans out will depend on how the Indian trio of Krunal Pandya, Ayush Badoni and Deepak Hooda perform as Rs 16 crore investment Nicholas Pooran is known to blow hot and cold on numerous occasions. For Rahul, it will be about the volume of runs scored, the kind of intent he is showing, and the consistency in strike rate. It is about making up for lost deliveries towards the business end of the innings.
DC: David Warner (c), Prithvi Shaw, Mitchell Marsh, Manish Pandey, Rovman Powell, Rilee Rossouw, Sarfaraz Khan (wk), Phil Salt (wk), Abhishek Porel (wk), Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Lalit Yadav, Ripal Patel, Ishant Sharma, Chetan Sakariya, Khaleel Ahmed, Aman Hakim Khan, Praveen Dubey, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Yash Dhull, Mukesh Kumar and Vicky Ostwal.
LSG: KL Rahul (c & wk), Kyle Mayers, Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya, Amit Mishra, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Naveen ul Haq, Ayush Badoni, Avesh Khan, Karan Sharma, Yudhvir Charak, Yash Thakur, Romario Shepherd, Mark Wood, Swapnil Singh, Manan Vohra, Daniel Sams, Prerak Mankad, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jaydev Unadkat, Marcus Stoinis, Ravi Bishnoi and Mayank Yadav.
Date and day: April 1, 2023 (Saturday)
Venue: Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow
Time: 7.30 PM (IST)
Where to watch (TV): Star Sports 1 and other Star Sports regional language channels - Also available in HD
Where to watch (Online): JioCinema
(With inputs from PTI)