The race to make the playoffs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 is heating up. 

With five wins from eight games, Lucknow Super Giants are on the right track but a win against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday will help LSG further consolidate their position in the top four of the points table. 

The match will be played in Lucknow’s BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium on Monday at 7:30 PM IST.

The two teams faced off in Bengaluru earlier this year. Chasing RCB's 212, Nicholas Pooran’s 62 off 19 and Marcus Stoinis’ 65 off 30 helped LSG pull off their highest-ever run chase and also the highest at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in the 16 years of IPL.

The conditions in Lucknow, however, will be different. The team selection and the Impact Player strategy will depend on the track to be used for the game as the BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium offers both spin-friendly black-soil and bouncy red-soil pitches. 

LSG are currently third on the points table with 10 points. RCB, with four wins and four losses, are fifth and one win shy from equalling LSG on points.

Super Giants to watch out for

LSG come into the contest fresh from a 56-run victory over Punjab Kings on Friday. Our collective batting effort led by Marcus Stoinis, Nicholas Pooran, Kyle Mayers and Ayush Badoni took LSG to 257/5 - their highest total in IPL and second-highest in IPL history. 

The opposition will target these four batters but considering teams have struggled to score at a run rate of eight in Lucknow, skipper KL Rahul and Krunal Pandya will be key players for LSG.

In the bowling department, Ravi Bishnoi and Krunal Pandya will look to exploit top-heavy RCB’s fragile middle order. Seamer Naveen ul Haq has bowled at an economy of under six and has picked four wickets in three matches he has played. He will be LSG’s lead bowler going into the contest.

Peek into Challengers’ squad

Though RCB lack stability in their middle order, the likes of Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis, Glenn Maxwell and Dinesh Karthik make RCB’s batting unit one of the most fearsome in IPL 2023. Mohammed Siraj and Harshal Patel are smart operators of the ball and will be well-supported by Wanindu Hasaranga.

RCB vs LSG: Head-to-head

LSG and RCB have locked horns three times in the IPL with RCB winning twice last season and LSG clinching a last-ball thriller in Bengaluru with one wicket in hand. Stoinis and Pooran starred against RCB in IPL 2023 with 60-plus scores after LSG were reduced to 23/3 chasing 212.

In IPL 2022, Krunal Pandya was our pick of the players in the first match during the league stage. Pandya bowled a tight spell of 1/29 from four overs before smashing 28-ball 42. However, LSG fell 18 runs short chasing RCB’s 181/6. 

The two teams met again in the eliminator. Skipper KL Rahul and Deepak Hooda led from the front but RCB’s 207/4 proved too steep for LSG, who fell short by 14 runs. 

Match details

Lucknow Super Giants vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Match 43

Venue: BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow

Time: 7:30 PM