Let’s talk about another franchise that had a pretty decent season even though they were playing for the first time in the IPL. Yes, we are going to talk about Lucknow Super Giants and what they need to do to make their decent season into a great one.
Lucknow Super Giants, captained by K L Rahul, began their IPL journey in the previous season (2022). This franchise is owned by the Sanjiv Goenka group, who previously owned Rising Pune Supergiants for 2 seasons.
Lucknow Super Giants haven’t changed much of their coaching staff with Andy Flower still being the head coach of the team and Gautam Gambhir being the mentor. This team was filled with quality all-rounders last time and it helped them succeed a lot.
They had a good mixture of youth and experience in their squad and K L Rahul handled this and used this well. Nobody expected them to release so many players before the IPL Auction 2023, but they did release a few big names.
Their current squad led by K L Rahul is as follows –
K L Rahul (c, wk), Manan Vohra, Quinton De Kock (wk, overseas), Ayush Badoni, Deepak Hooda, Krishnappa Gowtham, Karan Sharma, Krunal Pandya, Kyle Mayers (overseas), Marcus Stoinis (overseas), Avesh Khan, Mayank Yadav, Mark Wood (overseas), Mohsin Khan, Ravi Bishnoi.
Lucknow Super Giants currently have only 15 players in their squad and still need 3 to complete the minimum criteria of a team in the IPL. They can buy a maximum of 10 players (total 25) in the auction out of which 4 can be overseas.
They have a good amount of purse left with them (INR 23.35 crores) and can have a great auction if they use it wisely. Let us see what can their probable starting 11 be and what players they would be looking for in the auction.
They have a very strong opening pair with two of the best white ball cricketers in the world currently, KL Rahul and Quinton De Kock. I don’t think they have players for positions 3 and 4, unless and until they plan to do something out of the box.
Marcus Stoinis will play at 5 and one of Krunal Pandya or K Gowtham will play at 6, or both of them can also play 6 and 7. The four bowlers they will play are Mark Wood, Mohsin Khan, Avesh Khan, and Ravi Bishnoi.
Their team looks very incomplete when we see it because there is still no clarity about their middle order. They also don’t have any overseas fast-bowling resources apart from Mark Wood. They need to get their middle order sorted in the auction. Kyle Mayers will mostly play as a backup for De Kock at the top.
K L Rahul will again have a lot of responsibility on his shoulders to lead the batting lineup and stay on the crease till the end. Since this is an Ashes year, Mark Wood might take a rest after a few matches and in that case, their Indian bowling core would need to step up and perform well for the team.