IPL 2024: Giants' x-factor, Mayank Yadav up against Gujarat’s Titans

The talk all around is about Lucknow Super Giants' pace sensation Mayank Yadav as the tearaway pacer has made everyone sit up and take note of his special skill

Lucknow, April 6 (IANS) The talk all around is about Lucknow Super Giants’ (LSG) pace sensation Mayank Yadav as the tearaway pacer has made everyone sit up and take note of his special skill. The Ekana Cricket Stadium will yet again witness the thrill of sheer pace when host Lucknow Super Giants take on last edition’s runner-up Gujarat Titans in Match 21 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 here on Sunday.

Yadav has only played two matches so far in the IPL and has amazed everyone with his speed and control. He has taken six wickets off 41 runs, setting records for the fastest deliveries for the season.

The last time when Mayank Yadav bowled on the black and bouncy pitch of the Ekana Cricket Stadium, he clocked 155.8 km/h on the big display screen. The bowler went on to break his own record of the fastest delivery of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 with a 156.7 km/h delivery against Royal Challengers Bengaluru at Bengaluru.

So far, four matches have been played between both teams and Gujarat have won all of them. The Lucknow team will try its best to change the stats playing on their home ground. Lucknow’s fast bowlers have taken 130 wickets at an average of 24.8 since 2022 and it is the second most wickets in this period with the best average. On the other hand, Gujarat’s fast bowlers have also taken 160 wickets since 2022 and their average has been 26.1.

When the two teams with the best bowling attacks meet, the clash is expected to be excellent.

Rashid Khan has performed consistently for Gujarat and has been bowling brilliantly, especially against Lucknow. Rashid has dismissed K.L. Rahul, Deepak Hooda, Devdutt Padikkal and Krunal Pandya thrice each. He has also shown Quinton de Kock the way to the pavilion twice. Against Rashid, Rahul’s average was 11.7 and his strike rate was 85.4. Only de Kock (104.3) has been able to score against Rashid Khan at a strike-rate of 100 or more.

With Yadav being the ‘X’ factor, Lucknow will look to establish their home as a fortress. Riding on a win against RCB by 28 runs, the Super Giants will seek to keep up their winning streak against the Titans, whose confidence suffered following a stunning loss to Punjab Kings earlier this week. The Titans will try to reorganise and think of methods to negate, if not lessen Yadav’s damage.

LSG’s fast bowling coach, Morne Morkel, has hinted that the team may be able to maintain its winning mix.

“We will stick to our core bowling squad, with Mayank we have the extra space but in the coming time, we will look to give him rest and use Shamar Joseph. He has been the Gomti bowler and Indian selectors should look at him in the long run, he has natural talent and needs nothing to develop as a fast bowler,” said Morne Morkel in the pre-match press conference.

The third spongy pitch will be a favourable condition for Yadav, who has extra pace under his belt and with Mohsin Khan doubtful for the match all eyes will be on him leading the attack. The pitch that will be used for Sunday’s match will be a mixture of black and red soil favourable for pacers.

Titans batter David Miller stated that they were ready to take out Yadav and his fellow bowlers and that they weren’t overly concerned about facing him. The Titans learned a lot from the last game, including Rahul Tewatia’s spectacular finish and captain Shubman Gill’s return to form.

To defeat the Super Giants at home, though, the Titans will need to play with greater resolve and polish.

–IANS

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