Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 season will see the introduction of Lucknow Super Giants. The new franchise has built up a solid squad after picking three players in the draft pick before going strong in the IPL 2022 mega auction. LSG have KL Rahul as their skipper. He has been IPL’s best batter over the last four years, showing his consistency for the Punjab Kings. Rahul left Punjab and LSG signed the player as one of their draft picks.
In the auction, LSG went heavy for former DC pacer Avesh Khan. They got someone who impressed largely last season. They also bolstered the squad by signing all-rounders Jason Holder and Krunal Pandya, who are highly experienced. Signing Quinton de Kock was another major achievement. He forms a great opening combination alongside Rahul. What bodes well for LSG is the strong set of players on the bench. They have covered most departments.
Like the Gujarat Titans, the Super Giants will hope they start well in the tournament and bring some consistency on board. One hopes LSG can make an impression and show the desired consistency as the season progresses. Rahul has a crucial task in hand ahead of him.
The players LSG picked in the draft
With the IPL set to be a 10-team affair, the existing teams had an opportunity to retain at least four players ahead of the auction. The two new sides had the chance to pick three players of their choice in the draft pick. LSG agreed deals with Rahul (17 crore), Marcus Stoinis (9.25 crore), and Ravi Bishnoi (4 crore).
Key picks for LSG in the IPL 2022 auction
Lucknow got some crucial signings in the form of De Kock for Rs 6.25 crore. He was a good player for the Mumbai Indians previously. In Holder (8.75 crore) and Krunal (8.25 crore), the franchise has got the desired finishers. Avesh has valuable attributes as a bowler, and getting him for Rs 10 crore showed ambition. Signing Mark Wood for Rs 7.25 crore was a valuable deal as well.
A look at LSG’s complete squad
KL Rahul, Ravi Bishnoi, Marcus Stoinis, Quinton de Kock, Manish Pandey, Jason Holder, Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya, Mark Wood, Avesh Khan, Ankit Rajpoot, K Gowtham, Dushmanta Chameera, Shahbaz Nadeem, Manan Vohra, Mohsin Khan, Ayush Badoni, Kyle Mayers, Karan Sharma, Evin Lewis, Mayank Yadav
What can be LSG’s playing XI?
1) KL Rahul: The former PBKS skipper smashed plenty of runs across the last four editions of the IPL. In fact, he has the most runs across the last four editions. Rahul promises fireworks for LSG with his desired firepower and ability to play positive strokes, besides getting the big scores.
2) Quinton de Kock: The South African stalwart is a key T20 player and can bring utmost value upfront for LSG. He has 2,256 runs at 31.33. QDK has smashed 1 century and 16 fifties. He earlier played for Delhi and Royal Challengers Bangalore as well. LSG can benefit from the right-hand left-hand combination.
3) Manish Pandey: A senior figure in Manish Pandey gives LSG the perfect front three. His experience for KKR and SRH will help LSG at a crucial number three position. Pandey has smashed 3,560 runs at 30.68. He has one century and 21 fifties.
4) Marcus Stoinis: The Aussie international brings a lot of character to the side for LSG. He is an established senior figure, promising runs and wickets. He adds to the balance of this LSG side and was a key pick in the draft. He has 914 runs and 30 wickets in the competition.
5) Manan Vohra: To get the balance, LSG can start by using Vohra in the middle-order. If he gets some crucial scores, Vohra can then establish himself. With Krishnappa Gowtham hardly playing across the last two seasons, Vohra adds a bit of muscle in the batting department.
6) Deepak Hooda: The Indian all-rounder showed character for Team India in his recent outings. Hooda is another key batting all-rounder who can play the big shots. He is a good fielder as well. He has plenty of experience in the IPL and domestic cricket.
7) Krunal Pandya: The former MI spin all-rounder brings stability to this LSG side. He can be the second primary spin option after Bishnoi. Krunal can win matches, playing key knocks in this position. He can also be used in the PP overs with his left-arm spin and tie things in the middle-order.
8) Jason Holder: The big-hitting West Indian can bring the punch as a finisher. He can play the big shots and get the desired sixes. Holder is a sheer match-winner. His bowling is a huge plus as well.
9) Mark Wood: England pacer Wood has only played one match in his IPL career. Wood has 26 wickets in T20Is and 46 overall in T20 cricket. Wood has solid pace on offer and will be a massive character. He will hope to showcase his worth.
10) Avesh Khan: The right-arm pacer impressed one and all with 24 wickets in the previous season. Avesh has a good pace and is a class act at the death. He will be keen to build on the show and lead the bowling line-up. Avesh will have a lot of responsibility.
11) Ravi Bishnoi: The young spinner will aim to showcase his mettle after being a draft pick ahead of the auction. He has 24 wickets across the last two seasons. Bishnoi was recently picked in India’s T20I team and did a good job versus West Indies.