Why was De Kock dropped in IPL Eliminator vs MI? LSG skipper Pandya explains | Cricket

Lucknow Super Giants’ (LSG) journey in IPL 2023 came to an on end on Wednesday as the team endured a heavy 81-run defeat against Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Eliminator tie played at Chepauk. Akash Madhwal ran through the Lucknow batting order and completed a five-wicket haul, thus playing a huge role in Mumbai’s resounding victory.

Lucknow Super Giants batter Quinton de Kock(PTI)

Heading into the crucial tie, LSG rejigged their line-up and took a bold decision to rest Quinton de Kock entirely from the contest. In De Kock’s absence, LSG recalled Kyle Mayers into the XI and was introduced as an Impact Substitute in the second half of the match.

However, Mayers, who had scored a blazing half-century the last time LSG played at the venue, failed to replicate the show and was packed inside the powerplay for 13-ball 18 by Chris Jordan in the fourth over.

Mayers’ dismissal did put Lucknow in a spot of bother as they were reduced to 23/2 in the 183-run chase but Krunal Pandya and Marcus Stoinis stabalised things from there on. The pair added 46 runs for the third wicket, before Pandya was dismissed by Piyush Chawla in the ninth over as he tried to lift the scoring rate.

Pandya’s dismissal triggered a dramatic collapse as Lucknow lost the remaining seven batters for just 42 runs and the contest was wrapped with 21 balls to spare.

Pandya was asked about the shocking move to rest De Kock during the post-match presentation ceremony, to which the LSG captain said: “Quinton de Kock is a quality batter, but Kyle Mayers has a better record here (Chepauk), so we went ahead (in the playing XI) with him.”

If we look at Lucknow’s campaign, De Kock was only brought in the XI after an injury ruled KL Rahul out of the tournament, after which the wicketkeeper opened the innings with Mayers.

With Nicholas Pooran and Marcus Stoinis proving to be big asset in the middle-order, the franchise were compelled to rely on Indian quicks, which didn’t work well for them.

In order to reintroduce an overseas pacer back in the mix, the franchise then dropped Mayers from the XI, before bringing him back in the Eliminator, a move that didn’t reap much dividends.