Why Krunal Pandya not playing today: Lucknow Super Giants have made a total of three changes to their Playing XI for this match.
During the 66th match of the ongoing 15th season of the Indian Premier League between Kolkata Knight Riders and Lucknow Super Giants in Navi Mumbai, Lucknow Super Giants captain KL Rahul has won the toss and chose to bat.
“We’ll bat first. The pitch looks a bit dry. Last few games, it’s been tough chasing. We have to be positive, we’ve done really well in the tournament. We need to start afresh, try to win this game and enjoy. We’ll focus all of our energy on this game,” Rahul told Star Sports at the toss.
Much like his counterpart, Kolkata Knight Riders captain Shreyas Iyer also wanted to bat first in a must-win match at the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy tonight.
“I would have batted as well. This is going to be our last opportunity for us to express ourselves. [Message to teammates] Let’s do it for the coaches, management and fans,” Iyer told Star Sports at the toss.
Why is Krunal Pandya not playing vs KKR today?
Super Giants have made three changes to their Playing XI for this match. While all-rounder Krunal Pandya has suffered a niggle, batter Ayush Badoni and fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera have also been left out. As a result, LSG have included batters Evin Lewis and Manan Vohra and all-rounder Krishnappa Gowtham in an aim to strengthen their batting for this match.
“Krunal Pandya has a niggle, so he sits out. [Dushmantha] Chameera and Ayush Badoni miss out,” Rahul added. Lucknow, who will be missing Pandya’s all-round skills, appear to have dropped Badoni on form and left out Chameera as part of a tactical change.
— Lucknow Super Giants (@LucknowIPL) May 18, 2022
Readers must note that Lewis and Gowtham have played four and three IPL 2022 matches in the past. Playing his first match of the season, Chandigarh captain Vohra will be playing for his fourth IPL franchise in Super Giants (bought for his base price of INR 20 lakh) after Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings, 2013-2017), Royal Challengers Bangalore (2018) and Rajasthan Royals (2019-2021).
As far as Knight Riders are concerned, their solitary change is a forced one to replace injured batter Ajinkya Rahane. Rajasthan batter Abhijeet Tomar has been handed an IPL debut by KKR tonight.