New pace sensation Mayank Yadav will be closely followed by all and sundry after his match-winning performances as Lucknow Super Giants eye a hat-trick of wins when they take on an inconsistent Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League in Lucknow on April 7.

Yadav has caught everyone’s attention in the ongoing IPL with his raw pace and razor-sharp control, winning back-to-back player-of-the-match awards.

In his debut match against Punjab Kings, the 21-year-old returned impressive figures of 3/27, stunning England batter Jonny Bairstow with his searing pace.

He followed that performance with 3/14 figures against Royal Challengers Bengaluru, blowing away Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell with a 151kmph delivery, and then cleaned up his teammate Cameron Green.

His spectacular performances have led to debates within the cricketing community whether he should be fast-tracked into the Indian team.

But only two games can’t be a parameter for a place in the Indian team. For Yadav, the crucial factor would be his consistency, which the national selectors will be closely following.

On the batting front, LSG boast of a solid opening pair of Quinton de Kock and KL Rahul. The South African has been in prime form after a rare off day in the team’s opener but the skipper needs to get his act together as he hasn’t been able to capitalise on starts.

The big-hitting Nicholas Pooran has been LSG’s go-to-man in the finishing overs while Krunal Pandya was also handy in the last game.

But the major concern for the Lucknow outfit remains the form of Devdutt Padikkal and Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis.

In bowling, Yadav needs more support from the likes of Naveen-ul-Haq, Yash Thakur, Mohsin Khan, Stonis, and leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi.

LSG, who are placed fourth with two wins out of three games, would also look to keep a clean slate at home and cash in on familiar conditions to register the third successive win this season.

GT, on the other hand, have had a mixed bag campaign so far under new captain Shubman Gill, winning two and losing two games to occupy the seventh spot on the points table.

Gill, who scored an unbeaten 89 off 48 balls, found some much-needed runs in the previous game and would look to continue in the same vein.

B Sai Sudharsan has looked in good touch but would be on the lookout for a big score. However, the likes of Wriddhiman Saha and Vijay Shankar need to rise to the occasion.

Mohit Sharma has been the stand-out performer for GT, but he needs more support from the likes of Azmatullah Omarzai, Umesh Yadav, Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad.

Teams (from):

Gujarat Titans: Shubman Gill (c), David Miller, Matthew Wade, Wriddhiman Saha, Robin Minz, Kane Williamson, Abhinav Mandhar, B Sai Sudarshan, Darshan Nalkande, Vijay Shankar, Azmatullah Omarzai, Shahrukh Khan, Jayant Yadav, Rahul Tewatia, Kartik Tyagi, Shshant Mishra, Spencer Johnson, Noor Ahmad, Sai Kishore, Umesh Yadav, Rashid Khan, Joshua Little, Mohit Sharma and Manav Suthar.

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, Arshin Kulkarni, M. Siddharth, Ashton Turner, Matt Henry, Mohd Arshad Khan.

Match starts at 7.30 PM.


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