Lucknow Super Giants, one of the two new teams in the Indian Premier League, went with KL Rahul as captain and also drafted in Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi. With these three players, they had a nice spread of world class talent in their lineup to begin with.
At the mega auction, LSG didn’t break the bank for too many players and ended up making some smart recruitments. Avesh Khan, one of the most promising young Indian pacers, was brought in, along with seasoned West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder, Krunal Pandya, Quinton de Kock, Deepak Hooda, Evin Lewis and Kyle Mayers (potentially a steal at Rs 50 lakh).
Stoinis, who was one of the three players acquired by LSG before the auction, is set to miss the first week of the tournament due to international duty. As is the case with West Indies’ Jason Holder and Kyle Mayers. Lucknow were also dealt a big blow when England fast bowler Mark Wood was ruled out of the entire season due to an elbow injury. Australia’s Andrew Tye was then named as his replacement. Squad depth, beyond first XI, could be a concern for the franchise going deeper in the tournament.
Full squad: KL Rahul (c), Quinton de Kock, Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda, Marcus Stoinis, Krunal Pandya, Jason Holder, K Gowtham, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Andrew Tye, Dushmantha Chameera, Ankit Rajpoot, Shahbaz Nadeem, Manan Vohra, Mohsin Khan, Ayush Badoni, Karan Sharma, Mayank Yadav, Kyle Mayers, K Gowtham, Evin Lewis.
Most Valuable Player
Lucknow have a number of match-winners in their ranks but Rahul, as captain and opening batter, could bring the most value to the side. The right-hander has been one of the most consistent batters in the IPL over the past few seasons and if he can take his strike-rate a notch (or two) higher, he can put his team in promising positions. Rahul is will likely open the batting with de Kock and the duo have the potential to form the most dangerous opening pair this season. But, all eyes will once again be on how he approaches an innings... with an intent to hold things together or with intent to go big nice and early?
Uncapped Indian to watch out for
At the time of retentions, this was an easy call to make. Ravi Bishnoi is one of the most exciting young talent around in the league. But now, rightly so, he is a capped Indian player.
Lucknow Super Giants may not actually have a single uncapped player in their first-choice XI if they got to pick from a full-strength squad. Having said that, Ankit Rajpoot is one uncapped Indian player who could make an impact if given an opportunity. The right-arm pacer has IPL experience, having represented Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab in the past, and is a good backup to have in the squad. Additionally, left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, who has ample experience but hasn’t played white-ball cricket for India, could also come in handy if given a chance.
KL Rahul to Forbes India: “I don’t think you can dive into leadership without any preparation. It does require you to spend a lot of time with your teammates ensuring they know their responsibility. You put in hours at training and ticking all the boxes and give yourself the best chance to be prepared for the game. Results are not in our control. If our heart and mind is in the right place results will follow soon more often than not. We always put the team ahead of ourselves.”
Team mentor Gautam Gambhir to Star Sports (after the auction): Yeah, we wanted one of the two.. Prasidh Krishna and Avesh Khan and a lot of people might say that 10 Cr is a lot higher than what he should have gone for and if I would’ve been in the studio, I would’ve said the same thing. But if you realise, when you’re sitting on the auction table looking at the longetivity, he’s 23-24, you could build your pace attack with someone like him and he’s only going to get better. He’s around the group, he’s around the Indian team if he keeps working hard on his fitness and bowling because the Indian fast bowling group will only get smaller especially from the pace point of view, you’ve got Navdeep Saini, you’ve got Prasidh Krishna and now you’ve got Avesh Khan so we went really hard for Prasidh and then when we didn’t get Prasidh, we had to go all out for Avesh. And that was exactly the reason Sunrisers picked Umran Malik. For pace.
Teams to play twice: MI, KKR, RR, DC, GT
Teams to play once: CSK, SRH, RCB, PBKS
Lucknow Super Giants schedule for IPL 2022
|Mon||28-03-22||GT vs LSG||7:30 PM||Wankhede Stadium|
|Thu||31-03-22||LSG vs CSK||7:30 PM||Brabourne - CCI|
|Mon||04-04-22||SRH vs LSG||7:30 PM||DY Patil Stadium|
|Thu||07-04-22||LSG vs DC||7:30 PM||DY Patil Stadium|
|Sun||10-04-22||RR vs LSG||7:30 PM||Wankhede Stadium|
|Sat||16-04-22||MI vs LSG||3:30 PM||Brabourne - CCI|
|Tue||19-04-22||LSG vs RCB||7:30 PM||DY Patil Stadium|
|Sun||24-04-22||LSG vs MI||7:30 PM||Wankhede Stadium|
|Fri||29-04-22||PBKS vs LSG||7:30 PM||MCA Stadium, Pune|
|Sun||01-05-22||DC vs LSG||3:30 PM||Wankhede Stadium|
|Sat||07-05-22||LSG vs KKR||7:30 PM||MCA Stadium, Pune|
|Tue||10-05-22||LSG vs GT||7:30 PM||MCA Stadium, Pune|
|Sun||15-05-22||LSG vs RR||7:30 PM||Brabourne - CCI|
|Wed||18-05-22||KKR vs LSG||7:30 PM||DY Patil Stadium|