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Punjab vs Lucknow Indian T20 League: First Games by Paytm fantasy cricket tips and tricks, prediction and likely XIs

Venue: Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium, Pune 

Time: 7:30 PM IST

Average score at venue (1st inns): 172

Win percentage while batting first: 57.14%

Pitch conditions:

  • Teams can expect a good batting surface at the MCA Stadium in Pune where bowlers made their presence felt in the last contest here between Rajasthan and Bangalore, with the latter side being dismissed for 115.
  • Runs on the board will be important as teams have been able to record victories both while chasing as well as defending here in the ongoing tournament. 
  • Fast bowlers should be expected to dominate the proceedings at the MCA Stadium in Pune since they have a wicket-share percentage of 75.61% compared to the spinners getting just the 24.39% of the fallen wickets. 

Weather prediction

It will be a partly cloudy evening on Friday in Pune after a tremendously hot day which will witness the mercury hitting 40°C during the afternoon time. The temperature, however, will drop down to 31-33°C during the match while the humidity levels will be well under 50%.

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD (overall):

Matches played: -

Punjab won: -

Lucknow won: -

No result: -

Top 3 players from Punjab: Shikhar Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Mayank Agarwal

Top 3 players from Lucknow: KL Rahul, Krunal Pandya, Quinton de Kock 

Top picks for H2H/WTA contest (top 5 players each):

Top 5 players from Punjab: Shikhar Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Mayank Agarwal, Liam Livingstone, Kagiso Rabada

Top 5 players from Lucknow: KL Rahul, Krunal Pandya, Quinton de Kock, Avesh Khan, Deepak Hooda

Q & A

Fantasy tips and tricks: Should I pick more bowlers, batsmen or all-rounders?

The previous match at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune was clearly an aberration given that batsmen from both the teams were not able to get runs or even provide resistance, with Rajasthan recording an impressive victory over Bangalore. Keeping aside the outcome of that contest and the way it panned out, the venue is expected to support batsmen from both the teams on Friday night when Punjab will take on Lucknow. Both Punjab and Lucknow have had their share of inconsistencies but they are talented enough to notch up big scores, or even chase them successfully. It will be important to carry a long a batting line-up powered by a bowling attack with a variety that should include at least a couple of spinners.

Fantasy tips: From which team should I pick more players in my XI? Which team is stronger?

For the simple reason that Lucknow are featuring among the top four teams in the points table for the Indian T20 Cricket League 2022, having recorded victories in 5 matches out of the 8 that they have played so far, should have more players featuring in the fantasy cricket playing XI and are indeed the stronger side when compared with Punjab. On their part, Punjab are still figuring out their best combinations along with which approach suits their style of play and skill sets, since they have had mixed results originating from different approaches so far in the competition. 

MORE INFORMATION: Lucknow will want to become more consistent than they have been so far in the Indian T20 Cricket League 2022 tournament, wherein they have 5  victories in their kitty so far from 8 outings. Lucknow are currently placed at the 4th spot in the points table with 10 points from and a Net Run Rate (NRR) of 0.334, but they have lost a match as soon as they have won one in the last 5 outings. On the other hand, Punjab have 3 losses to show in the last 5 matches, indicating that they are still struggling on a few fronts and need overall improvement as a unit. 

PLAYERS’ FORM: It will be no exaggeration in saying that Lucknow will be dependent on their captain KL Rahul who has been in imperious form this season, having hit two centuries already with both coming against the former winners Mumbai. Apart from KL Rahul, Quinton de Kock and Deepak Hooda will be the key players for Lucknow with the bat who are seeking consistency from that place as well as a team at this stage in the Indian T20 Cricket League 2022. For Punjab, their opening pair of Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan will be the key. 

Changes in squad (if any): NO

LIKELY XIs:

LUCKNOW: KL Rahul (C), Quinton de Kock (WK), Manish Pandey, Marcus Stoinis, Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya, Ayush Badoni, Jason Holder, Dushmantha Chameera, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan/Mohsin Khan

PUNJAB: Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal (c), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Liam Livingstone, Jonny Bairstow, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Rishi Dhawan, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar,  Arshdeep Singh, Sandeep Sharma. 

FANTASY XI: KL Rahul (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, Marcus Stoinis, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Krunal Pandya, Jason Holder, Rishi Dhawan, Arshdeep Singh, Dushmantha Chameera, Kagiso Rabada. 

Punjab face dangerous Lucknow in clash of inconsistent teams 

It is a contest between two teams whose captains have been the best of friends for the last many years in their respective careers. These best friends, however, will be involved in an intense contest on Friday night when KL Rahul, who has been a more experienced and successful man at the job of leading Lucknow in their maiden season of the Indian T20 Cricket League 2022, will take the field against Mayank Agrawal, who has had his share of troubles and worries as a man at the helm at Punjab.

For obvious reasons, there cannot be a direct comparison between the captaincy style and approach of KL Rahul and Mayank Agrawal, but they will be put in the same parameter given that their respective teams are competing for the same goal finish in the top four of the 10-team league stage of 70 matches.

And as things stand currently, KL Rahul’s Lucknow look in a better situation to make it to the final four then the 7th-placed Punjab, who have had their troubles and mixed performances reducing mixed results so far in the Indian T20 Cricket League 2022.

Punjab have really struggled with their approach of playing being ‘aggressive’ and being ‘aggressive and’ smart at the same time. Mayank Agarwal has had more failures with the bat after getting started than perhaps any other captain in the tournament, whereas his counterpart for the clash on Friday night, KL Rahul, has been one of the top batsmen in the tournament.

Punjab will be concerned about their batting as their English import in Jonny Bairstow has not worked out well for them so far, and Jitesh Sharma has also not been able to make a big score despite making promising starts. He has been in 30s but Punjab will be served well if the wicketkeeper-batsman is able to make more. 

The other imports in Liam Livingstone and Bhanuka Rajapaksa have done their bit but more is required from Punjab collectively as a team who have not been consistent enough for anyone’s liking. 

On the other hand, given the depth in their side and the kind of performance that they have put out so far, makes Lucknow look a formidable team in any set up and situation. The imperious form of KL Rahul combined with the promise of other players such as Quinton De Kock, Deepak Hooda, Ayush Barwani, Avesh Khan, Krunal Pandya and even Jason Holder makes them look like a dangerous bunch of players.

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