The Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) made it into the playoffs in their maiden IPL season, in IPL 2022. But KL Rahul’s team went down to RCB in the Eliminator. Considering this was their first season in the IPL, a playoff finish is an impressive feat, though the other IPL debutants – Gujarat Titans – won the title altogether.
The LSG management, headed by coach Andy Flower, mentor Gautam Gambhir, captain KL Rahul and owner Sanjiv Goenka, released some of the players which included some marquee T20 names.
Players released by Lucknow Super Giants (LSG): Jason Holder, Dushmantha Chameera, Evin Lewis, Andrew Tye, Manish Pandey, Ankit Rajpoot, Shahbaz Nadeem
They would want an upgrade on these released players and will look to fill the remaining holes in their squad in the forthcoming IPL 2023 mini-auction. They have a handsome purse of INR 23.35 crore after releasing these players.
Here are 3 players that Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) might target in the IPL 2023 mini-auction:
Unimpressive with the lack of consistency of Evin Lewis and the lack of aggression of Manish Pandey, Lucknow released both these middle-order batters. To replace them, and have a solid middle-order batter, LSG might go hard after Kane Williamson.
The 2022 year aside where he’s struggled to up the strike rate due to his elbow issues, Kane Williamson provides a great deal of consistency and is capable of anchoring the innings and then upping the strike rate in the end overs. Williamson, like all great anchors, plays according to the situation and would fit the bill aptly in the LSG line-up. The presence of Williamson as the anchor would also allow KL Rahul to be at his aggressive and attacking best.
Having released both Holder and Chameera, LSG will be on the hunt for new ball bowlers in the auction and would prefer someone who can bat too. In comes Ben Stokes as a suitable option.
Stokes’ usefulness as a middle-order batter in T20 cricket was shown during the T20 World Cup where he guided England home in tricky par run-chases under huge pressure of a must-win game vs Sri Lanka and in the final vs Pakistan.
Plus, Stokes was regularly used for an over or two with the new ball and would later come in to bowl another over or two as a middle-overs enforcer and bang it into the pitch. Stokes would solve two problems for LSG.
The bigger bowling issue for LSG was in the death than in the powerplay, and it feels more so now with the departure of Tye and Holder, two very fine death bowlers.
Sam Curran emerged, admittedly surprisingly, as the best death-overs bowler during the T20 WC. Curran took 13 wickets in all, 10 of which came in the death overs. He was the Man of the Match in the final and the Man of the Tournament too.
Curran can also whack the ball well. The pocket-dynamite England all-rounder will be on the radar of many franchises, including Lucknow Super Giants.