The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently confirmed the owners of the two new Indian Premier League (IPL) teams. Sanjiv Goenka’s RPSG Ventures Ltd won the bidding for the Lucknow franchise at a price of INR 7090 crore. Irelia Company Pte Ltd. (CVC Capital Partners) took the Ahmedabad franchise for INR 5625 crore. With the announcement of the two new teams, BCCI confirmed that the IPL 2022 season will comprise ten teams and will have 74 matches, wherein each team will play 7 home and 7 away matches. Wondering who could lead the new franchise? Here are five options for team Lucknow.
1. Suresh Raina:
Being a UP boy, Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) ‘Chinna Thala’ Suresh Raina is among the front runners to be named captain of the Lucknow franchise. Although Raina was not in great form for CSK during their victorious IPL 2021 campaign, the emotional factor could keep him in the hunt. Although Raina had a poor IPL 2021, scoring only 160 runs in 12 matches and missing the end games of the franchise, he is one of the most successful IPL batters. In 205 matches, he has amassed 5528 runs with one hundred and 39 fifties at a strike rate of 136.76.
2. Virat Kohli:
Okay, Virat Kohli has said that, although he has resigned as captain, he will stay with the RCB franchise till the end of his career. But what if RCB don’t retain him and send him back to the auction pool? He will then become a hot property not only as a player but as a captain as well. Although he hasn’t won an IPL or an ICC trophy to date, he will still be in massive demand. And if he is available, there is every chance of Lucknow going for him as captain as the auction. His experience as a leader, batter and match-winner is invaluable.
3. David Warner:
Considering the shabby treatment meted out to David Warner by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), there is no way the once seemingly unbreakable bond is going to continue. Warner has already bid goodbye to the franchise which owes a lot of its success to the former captain. While the veteran left-hander was first sacked as captain and then a player from the XI, new franchises would love to have his services as player and leader. Warner knows how to lead from the front and has shown it innumerable times for SRH over the years. The southpaw is the most successful overseas batter in the history of the league, which says a lot about his prowess.
4. Mayank Agarwal:
The 30-year-old, who led Punjab Kings (PBKS) in one match during IPL 2021 when KL Rahul was available, could be one of the captaincy options. Mayank Agarwal is said to have a good head on his shoulders and, apparently, has a shrewd cricket brain. As a batter, he is always willing to do what the side wants him, which makes him a good team man. Agarwal was in fine form in IPL 2021, smashing 441 runs in 12 games at a strike rate of 140.44.
5. Suryakumar Yadav:
Mumbai Indians (MI) would ideally want to retain their entire IPL squad. There are so many match-winners in it, Suryakumar Yadav being one of them. Of course, that will not be possible and, hence, MI would mostly have to let go Yadav. Having been part of IPL’s most successful franchise, Yadav emerged from the ranks to become one of the side’s most bankable batters. Following his success in the IPL, he has also progressed to the international stage and is part of India’s T20 World Cup squad. The 31-year-old has an impressive IPL record – 2341 runs from 115 matches at a strike rate of 135.71. Could be an interesting choice for captaincy.