Aakash Chopra has questioned the Lucknow Super Giants' (LSG) decision to hold back Evin Lewis in their batting order in the IPL 2022 eliminator clash against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
KL Rahul's side were set a massive 208-run target by RCB in Wednesday's (May 25) Indian Premier League encounter. They lost the match by 14 runs despite fighting knocks from their skipper and Deepak Hooda.
While reflecting on LSG's chase in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra was critical of the call to send Manan Vohra at No. 3 after Quinton de Kock's early dismissal. He observed:
"We had said that Quinton de Kock has an issue against this team. We thought he will get out to Josh but got out to Siraj. But after that at No. 3, surprise surprise comes Manan Vohra. Personally, I didn't like that strategy at all."
The former Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) player pointed out that LSG failed to utilize Lewis effectively by batting him down the order. Chopra explained:
"I was thinking, why not Evin Lewis? Why did you play Evin Lewis if you are not sending him at No. 3? Were you holding him back thinking that Maxwell will get away with overs there but Maxwell will bowl to Rahul also, he will hit him there. Even though Vohra played a good short 19-run knock but because of that Evin Lewis slipped too low down the order."
Lewis walked out to bat at the fall of Marcus Stoinis' wicket when LSG required 35 runs off 15 balls. The big-hitting left-hander struggled to put bat to ball and managed just two runs off the six deliveries he faced.
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"KL Rahul was playing extremely slowly at the start" - Aakash Chopra on the other LSG batters
On the flip side, Aakash Chopra was all praise for Deepak Hooda for playing a blazing knock. He elaborated:
"KL Rahul was playing extremely slowly at the start, was trying to take it deep. Deepak Hooda came, hurricane Hooda, he was good. If you talk about the find of the tournament from Lucknow's viewpoint, it has to be Deepak Hooda, he has batted extremely well. He allowed KL Rahul to be."
While observing that Rahul was more attacking against the pacers than the spinners, the commentator concluded by reiterating that LSG's batting order was not right. Chopra said:
"When KL Rahul started hitting, there was a pattern to his game. He was quiet against spin and was demolishing the fast bowlers. He hit very good sixes against the fast bowlers and one off Wanindu Hasaranga as well but there will be a question - was the run chase planned properly? The batting order was not right in my opinion."
With this loss, LSG have been knocked out of IPL 2022. RCB, on the other hand, will take on the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Qualifier 2, with the Gujarat Titans (GT) awaiting the winner of that clash for the all-important title decider.
Poll : Did LSG err in their batting order against RCB?