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“Play Quinton de Kock at the top”


Aakash Chopra wants the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) to play Quinton de Kock at the top of the order in their IPL 2023 clash against the Rajasthan Royals (RR).

The two sides will lock horns in a top-of-the-table clash in Jaipur on Wednesday, April 19. De Kock hasn’t featured in LSG’s XI in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League thus far, with Kyle Mayers preferred ahead of him.

While previewing the game in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra spoke about his expectations from the Lucknow Super Giants in the batting department, elaborating:

“Show a little intent in batting. Play Quinton de Kock at the top. Deepak Hooda must fire. It will be difficult if he doesn’t score runs because he hasn’t scored any runs till now in this tournament and he has got a few innings and is batting at a very good number.”

The former Indian batter pointed out that Marcus Stoinis and Nicholas Pooran are not primed to succeed against the RR spinners but acknowledged that the latter’s stupendous form should hold him in good stead, observing:

“In the batting order, you will see Krunal Pandya and then Marcus Stoinis and Nicholas Pooran. Marcus Stoinis might struggle a little against spin. Nicholas Pooran does not have very good match-ups but the player is in very good form.”

Stoinis has aggregated 123 runs in his five innings in IPL 2023 thus far and has played only one substantial knock. Pooran, who was dismissed for a golden duck in the Lucknow Super Giants’ last game, has smashed 141 runs at an outstanding strike rate of 216.92 in his five outings.

“The question will be how you will use them” – Aakash Chopra on the Lucknow Super Giants’ spin-bowling options

Ravi Bishnoi was not used effectively in LSG's last game against the Punjab Kings. [P/C:]
Ravi Bishnoi was not used effectively in LSG’s last game against the Punjab Kings. [P/C:]

While observing that the Lucknow Super Giants have a plethora of spin-bowling options, Aakash Chopra questioned KL Rahul’s handling of Ravi Bishnoi in their last game, stating:

“In spin bowling, you will see Ravi Bishnoi. You might see Krishnappa Gowtham and Amit Mishra as well and you will definitely see Krunal Pandya. There are so many spin options but the question will be how you will use them because last time you forgot Bishnoi.”

Ravi Bishnoi came in to bowl his first over in 15th over of the innings, KL Rahul’s captaincy masterclass. 🙏#LSGvPBKS

On the flip side, the cricketer-turned-commentator praised Sanju Samson for using his resources effectively, explaining:

“He was made to bowl the 20th over and this is where I want to tell you that Sanju Samson doesn’t make mistakes. We have seen great captains make mistakes since the Impact Player rule came in. When seasoned campaigners make mistakes, when you see Sanju Samson, you say he is captaining very well.”

Chopra concluded by picking the Rajasthan Royals as the favorites heading into Wednesday’s clash against the Lucknow Super Giants, reasoning that last season’s finalists seem to be the better side.

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Edited by Sai Krishna

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