Cut or keep? What should happen to Lucknow Super Giants’ squad after IPL 2023?
Lucknow Super Giants made it into their second successive playoffs in IPL 2023 but crashed out after losing to Mumbai Indians in the Eliminator.
While they have an all-round side, they will still need to strengthen their spin and Indian batting department ahead of the 2024 auction.
LSG were led by KL Rahul in the first half of this edition, but an injury while fielding during a match ruled him out of the remainder of the competition. Krunal Pandya took over charge of Lucknow and guided them into their second playoffs after they finished third on the points table with eight wins from 14 games.
Quinton de Kock
The keeper surprisingly played only four games and was dropped for the Eliminator despite making 143 runs at an average of 36 with a strike rate over 140. He is a proven performer in the IPL and is one of the most aggressive openers in world cricket currently.
Though Rahul’s strike rate is a bone of contention – he struck at 113.22 this year in nine games – he is undoubtedly their biggest Indian face and will return to lead the side.
With a batting strike rate of 150 and five wickets, Stoinis was undoubtedly one of the bright stars for LSG in 2023. He was the only batter to make 400 runs and was a key player in a brittle middle-order.
The 29-year-old played five games this season and had an impact in only one match, where he struck an unbeaten 64 against SRH. He is a backup to Ayush Badoni in the team, and should be persisted with next year as well.
Released by SRH after the 2023 season, Pooran excelled with the new franchise. He struck at 172.94 in the middle order and should be one of the first names to be retained.
Mayers was chosen as a backup to de Kock but ended up overshadowing him, with LSG giving him more game time. He ended with a strike rate of 144.10 after 13 games and was preferred over the left-hander in the crucial Eliminator.
Nicknamed ‘Baby AB’ after a stunning 2022, Badoni, mostly used as an Impact Player this season, was unable to replicate his form in 2023. However, he did play some handy knocks and is a player for the future.
He impressed with his captaincy skills and is one of those rare Indian players who not only bats up the order but also sends down four overs regularly. His left-arm orthodox bowling has been effective at LSG’s home venue.
Unfortunately, Naveen’s off-field antics took over his on-field heroics. He ended with 11 wickets and was sensational in the Eliminator when he took four wickets. Naveen can bowl over 135kmph consistently and gets the ball to move around, and will form a lethal bowling pair with Mark Wood.
LSG were praised for their excellent use of Gowtham as an Impact Player, bringing him in for his big-hitting skills for one delivery after specialist batter Ayush Badoni had been dismissed. He hit a six before being used as a bowler in the second half. Though he picked up only three wickets in seven games, he is the only experienced off-spinner in the squad and can be an effective batter too.
Wood’s injury woes continued in this IPL, and he played only four games before being ruled out. He was effective when he played, picking up 11 scalps, and is undoubtedly one of the most skilled fast bowlers currently.
The top wicket-taker for Lucknow, Bishnoi is young and already the leader of the spin bowling attack.
Yudhvir Singh got limited chances but could be more than effective on pitches that offer movement and bounce and should be groomed.
A breakout star in 2022, Mohsin was out of action for more than a year but came back like nothing had changed. His maturity at the death against MI, when he defended 11 runs, shows he is a superstar for the future.
Avesh is an Indian fast bowler, and even though he was not at his best in 2023, he has immense potential.
With 13 wickets, Thakur was the most successful pacer for the side, in only nine games. He has a T20 economy rate of 7.19.
Mishra will be 41 by the next IPL, but the Impact Player rule works for him. He was subbed out in six of the seven games that he played, but his fielding will be a worry. He picked up seven wickets in 2023 and can be retained mainly because the Ekana assists the slower bowlers.
Vohra has often been picked as a backup by teams over the years and has been unable to cement his place. He played one game for LSG, striking at 91.
Unadkat was injured and was ruled out midway through IPL 2023. He had little impact prior to that, going wicketless in three games. Bought at his base price, Unadkat’s indifferent run with IPL franchises continues.
Hooda was given 12 games in IPL 2023 but ended with a poor batting average of 7.63. LSG’s top-order is well-stacked, and they need lower middle-order batters, which is not Hooda’s strong suit. He was bought for INR 5.75 crore last year, and releasing him could free a lot of Lucknow’s budget.
The offspinner played two games, went wicketless, and does not have the greatest T20 record either.
Shepherd has a batting strike rate of 160, but it is tough to find a place for him in the XI. His economy rate of 10.57 also works against him.
Swapnil is 32 years old and has never played in the IPL before 2023. He had little contribution this season, and LSG might look to release him for a younger player.
Sams did not play any games in 2023 and does not have the greatest IPL record either, with a batting strike rate of 100 and a bowling economy rate of 8.72 in 16 games.
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