The new season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) gets underway on 31 March with a match between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Gujarat Titans (GT). Meanwhile, Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) will take on Delhi Capitals (DC) in their first match on 1 April. But as per reports, it won’t be the usual opening pair of Quinton de Kock and KL Rahul for LSG. Instead, either Ky le Mayers or Deepak Hooda will open the innings alongside KL Rahul.
Quinton de Kock is set to miss the first two matches of IPL 2023 as the South African wicketkeeper batter will be on national duty. Notably, South Africa are playing two ICC World Cup qualifier 50-over games against the Netherlands on March 31 and April 2 and hence their top players will be unavailable for their respective IPL franchises.
"In case of De Kock, the best option is Kyle Mayers, who is also a left-hander and has a decent strike rate of close to 135 in T20Is. On Sunday, he was brilliant against South Africa during his 27-ball-51. So Mayers is favourite to partner Rahul in first two games," a source privy to developments in LSG camp was quoted saying by PTI on conditions of anonymity.
"In case, LSG wants to beef up their middle-order or bowling arsenal with overseas recruits, then there is a case for talented Hooda to face the new ball alongside his skipper," the report further stated.
Notably, Hooda has already scored a century for India opening the innings in T20 cricket and has shown that he can be an enforcer in the Powerplay overs with his improvisation skills.
Apart from de Kock, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen, Marco Jansesn, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi will also miss first few games of IPL 2023.