Ahead of IPL 2022, all eyes will be on the new entrants Lucknow Super Giants who will make their debut this season. The team, owned by RPSG Group, will be one of the teams to watch out for – especially after having got some big names in support staff. Andy Flower has been appointed as the head coach, who will be joined by Vijay Dahiya (Assistant Coach) and Gautam Gambhir (Team Mentor) in the dressing room.
Can the UP-based franchise take the tournament by storm in their first season itself? Let’s wait and watch. Here’s everything you need to know about the new team of IPL 2022.
About the franchise:
Lucknow Super Giants are one of the two new teams (alongside Ahmedabad) who have been added to IPL roster, making the tournament a 10-team event. Although the side will make their debut in IPL 2022, the owners of team have the experience of managing an IPL franchise as Rising Pune Supergiant (in 2016 and 2017) had the same ownership.
Notably, the highest run-scorer of RPSG was Ajinkya Rahane (862 runs in 30 matches) and leading wicket-taker was Jaydev Unadkat (24 wickets in 12 matches). Interestingly, both the players will go under the hammer in IPL 2022 mega auction and Lucknow Super Giants will have a chance to sign them.
Lucknow Super Giants is owned by RP Sanjiv Goenka Group, who bought the franchise for an amount of INR 7090 crore during the tender process. The chairperson of RPSG Group – Mr. Sanjiv Goenka – is the key man, who will be responsible for franchise’s decision-making from the management side.
Although Lucknow will make their debut this season, the performances of owner’s old team Rising Pune Supergiant in IPL were as follows:
2016: Finished 7th (out of 8) in league stages
2017: Finished 2nd (out of 8) in league stages; ended as runners-up
Although Lucknow will be playing their first season of IPL this year, one can get an idea of franchise’s approach and mind-set by looking at the squad of RPSG from 2017. Here is how the team looked like:
Steve Smith (c), MS Dhoni (wk), Shardul Thakur, Ajinkya Rahane, Faf du Plessis, Ashok Dinda, Ankush Bains, Rajat Bhatia, Ankit Sharma, Ishwar Pandey, Adam Zampa, Jaskaran Singh, Baba Aparajith, Deepak Chahar, Usman Khawaja, Mayank Agarwal, Ben Stokes, Manoj Tiwary, Jaydev Unadkat, Rahul Chahar, Daniel Christian, Lockie Ferguson, Saurabh Kumar, Milind Tandon, Rahul Tripathi, Imran Tahir.
Some of their former players like Steve Smith, Shardul Thakur, Ajinkya Rahane, Faf du Plessis, Jaydev Unadkat, Imran Tahir etc. will be up for grabs in upcoming mega auction.
Rising Pune Supergiant had MS Dhoni as their first captain before Thala was replaced by Steve Smith. It suggests that the ownership is not afraid of making bold calls, which would certainly put a bit of pressure on the newly-appointed captain of Lucknow Super Giants – KL Rahul – who will lead the new franchise in IPL 2022.
After being given an opportunity to pick 3 players in the draft, Lucknow Super Giants secured the services of KL Rahul (c/wk), Marcus Stoinis and Ravi Bishnoi.
Strategy for IPL 2022
Lucknow Super Giants have ticked a few boxes with their draft picks but there is still a lot of work yet to be done for them in the mega auction. Although they have an all-rounder and spinner, they would certainly need an experienced pacer to be a part of their core group.
Hence, it would not be surprising to see the franchise address that area in the early stages of mega auction. Lucknow could spend a few bucks on securing the signing of one of the marquee players like Trent Boult, Kagiso Rabada, Mohammed Shami or Pat Cummins.
They would also need a few Indian batters in their side which is why they could also target players like Shikhar Dhawan, Devdutt Padikkal, Manish Pandey, Suresh Raina, Robin Uthappa, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana etc.