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As LSG plays PBKS in a key mid-table match, KL Rahul's strike rate is once again in the spotlight

When they face Punjab Kings in a critical mid-table match in the Indian Premier League here on Friday, Lucknow Super Giants will be seeking to move beyond an illogical batting performance.
Both clubs have four victories out of seven games played so far in the tournament, and they both want to establish some consistency in the close race to the IPL play-offs.
Despite the unfavourable batting surface in Lucknow, captain K L Rahul's strike rate was once again the topic of discussion as his side struggled Saturday to chase down 136 against Gujarat Titans despite being in a dominating position.
Rahul has a strike rate of 113.91 in the tournament so far, but he can undoubtedly improve.
The PCA Stadium's pitch should be easier for the batsman than Lucknow's 22 yards, despite the fact that 200 runs have not yet been scored there this season.
The LSG assault has been significantly affected by pacer Mark Wood's absence, who has been out since April 15 owing to sickness. The squad is hoping for an early comeback from him. Despite missing three games, Wood still leads them in wickets taken.
On the other side, Punjab Kings will want to turn things around at home following a pair of defeats. Shikhar Dhawan, the team's permanent captain, has missed the past three games owing to a shoulder ailment but may play in the LSG match.
“He is recovering well and could be in action tomorrow,” a club insider stated.
Punjab Kings, who have a history of wasting opportunities, are consciously trying to improve as the competition goes on.
While the dangerous Liam Livingstone is still developing after two games, the top order of Prabhsimran Singh and Matthew Short needs to remain longer in the middle.
Sam Curran, the team's de facto captain, proved against the Mumbai Indians why Punjab paid him Rs 18.5 crore for his services by demonstrating that he can contribute with both the bat and the ball.
While Nathan Ellis and Kagiso Rabada, who has only played in a few games so far, will need to be compared, Arshdeep Singh has excelled with both the new and old ball.
Since he has only managed to capture two wickets in seven games, leggie Rahul Chahar needs to perform much better in the middle overs.
the following teams:
Punjab Kings: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Arshdeep Singh, Baltej Singh, Rahul Chahar, Sam Curran, Rishi Dhawan, Nathan Ellis, Gurnoor Brar, Harpreet Brar, Harpreet Singh, Vidwath Kaverappa, Liam Livingstone, Mohit Rathee, Prabhsimran Singh, Kagiso Rabada, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, M Shahrukh Khan, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Shivam Singh, Matthew Short, Sikandar Raza, Atharva Taide.
Ayush Badoni, Avesh Khan, Karan Sharma, Yudhvir Charak, Yash Thakur, Romario Shepherd, Mark Wood, Swapnil Singh, Manan Vohra, Daniel Sams, Prerak Mankad, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jaydev Unadkat, Marcus Stoinis, Ravi Bishnoi, and Mayank Yadav are the members of the Lucknow Super Giants. KL Rahul is the team captain.
Match begins at 7:30 IST.

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