Ahead of their debut season in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) have so far done everything right.
LSG have one of the strongest Indian cores in the tournament with KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Hooda, K Gowtham, Ravi Bishnoi and Avesh Khan. They all have the potential to be match-winners in their domain, which that reduces the reliance on their overseas stars to create an impact.
LSG will be led by Rahul, who was drafted even before the mega auction, along with Marcus Stoinis and Ravi Bishnoi.
Overall, the franchise attracted strong individual talents, but will they manage to click as a team?
LSG is full of all-rounders, of all kinds.
- From a batting all-rounder in Marcus Stoinis and pace-bowling all-rounder in Jason Holder to a batting all-rounder who can bowl right-arm spin in Deepak Hooda and a left-arm spin bowling all-rounder who can bat in Krunal Pandya.
- In Rahul and de Kock, LSG has one of the strongest opening pairs ahead of IPL 2022.
- The duo of Avesh Khan and Mark Wood look good at least on paper. While the former can clock 140-145 kmph, the latter can bowl at 145-150 kmph and that lethal pace in a bowling attack in T20s can be a boon.
Wood is a very injury-prone cricketer and if all doesn’t go well, LSG could struggle to find a partner for Avesh. There are no doubts about Manish Pandey’s talents, but he has not clicked in the IPL over the last couple of seasons and going into IPL 2022, Pandey’s form could be a cause for concern…
Note LSG also have one of the thinnest squads in the league with a mere 21 players and no purse remaining. That is a tricky territory, considering these bio-bubble times.
As a completely new franchise, the LSG have no history: IPL 2022 will be their very first appearance. For geographical reasons, Delhi Capitals (DC) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) could turn out to be their major rivals.
Chances to win
At least on paper LSG look like a fine squad. If every department clicks for them as a team, they certainly have the potential to reach the finals even on their maiden appearance in the IPL.
Lucknow IPL 2022 full squad
KL Rahul, Quinton de Kock, Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda, Marcus Stoinis, Jason Holder, Krunal Pandya, Krishnappa Gowtham, Avesh Khan, Mark Wood, Ravi Bishnoi, Ankit Rajpoot, Dushmanta Chameera, Shahbaz Nadeem, Manan Vohra, Mohsin Khan, Ayush Badoni, Kyle Mayers, Karan Sharma, Evin Lewis, Mayank Yadav.
Players to watch for…
With 3,273 runs in 94 matches at 47.3, KL Rahul is one of the best batsmen in the tournament. He will open the innings with Quinton de Kock. Both are wicketkeeper-batsmen and could share the gloves duties across the tournament.
Young medium pacer Avesh Khan was a great inclusion by LSG. He touches 140-145kmph.
LSG have another young player in the bowling department – leg spinner Ravi Bishnoi, whose wicket-taking abilities make him a match-winner.