The Indian Premier League 2023 is on the horizon and we bring you a segment where we talk about the franchise's history and their chances of winning in the upcoming season. Today we discuss Lucknow Super Giants, who reached the playoffs in their debut season. Can the current Lucknow Super Giants squad win IPL 2023?
The IPL 2023 is a few days away from the curtain raiser on March 31. The biggest superstars in world cricket will be in India, competing in the best T20 league in the world. The reigning champions Gujarat Titans will be looking to defend their crown but nine other teams will be hoping to snatch it away. A total of 70 matches are to be played in the group stage followed by the playoffs, with the season concluding on May 28.
Lucknow Super Giants History
Lucknow Super Giants were one of the two teams introduced ahead of the IPL 2022 as a part of the league's expansion plans. LSG had a pretty good season, considering it was their first time in the tournament.
Super Giants finished third on the points table in IPL 2022, where they won nine matches and lost five. They missed the top two finish by a narrow net run-rate margin of 0.047. The top two finish allows the teams two shots at reaching the final.
Missing on the second spot cost Lucknow Super Giants big time as they were defeated by Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Eliminator by 14 runs. LSG bowlers were taken apart by the RCB batters, conceding 207/4.
Chasing the target, the LSG captain took too much time early in his innings. Although he scored 79 off 58, it was a well below average knock. It put pressure on other batters and had too much to do at the back end, eventually falling short by 14 runs.
|IPL 2022||Qualifier 2|
Lucknow Super Giants Squad: IPL 2023
The Lucknow Super Giants squad will be led by KL Rahul yet again as they look to go two steps further than the previous season. They had a pretty good auction last December, where they added some important players to the group.
Nicholas Pooran was their biggest signing in the auction. They spent ₹16 crore to acquire the services of the West Indian batter. An absence of a quality left hand batter in the middle order was one of their issues last year and they have solved it with this signing.
As the season opener draws close, the #SuperGiants get into the groove in their net session
— Lucknow Super Giants (@LucknowIPL) March 28, 2023
Mark Wood did not play the previous edition due to an injury but the England fast bowler is all set to feature in IPL 2023. Wood will be a key part of LSG's bowling attack.
Young Indian left arm seamer Mohsin Khan had an impressive season for the Super Giants last year. He picked 14 wickets in nine matches at a terrific economy rate of 5.96. But Mohsin Khan is still recovering from an injury and is set to miss the majority of the IPL 2023.
Lucknow Super Giants signed the veteran left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat in the auction. He will be a readymade replacement for Mohsin in the upcoming season.
LSG have also brought West Indies hard-hitting all-rounder Romario Shepherd, Australia all-rounder Daniel Sams and the promising Afghan pacer Naveen-ul-Haq into the fold for IPL 2023.
The likes of Rahul, Avesh Khan, Deepak Hooda, Ravi Bishnoi and Krunal Pandya form a good Indian core for the franchise. Quinton de Kock, Wood, Pooran and Marcus Stoinis are likely to be the four overseas players playing the majority of the games in the season.
Full Squad: KL Rahul, Deepak Hooda, Ayush Badoni, Karan Sharma, Manan Vohra, Quinton de Kock, Marcus Stoinis, Ravi Bishnoi, Krishnappa Gowtham, Kyle Mayers, Krunal Pandya, Avesh Khan, Mohsin Khan, Mark Wood, Mayank Yadav, Nicholas Pooran, Jaydev Unadkat, Yash Thakur, Romario Shepherd, Daniel Sams, Amit Mishra, Prerak Mankad, Swapnil Singh, Naveen ul Haq, Yudhvir Charak
Probable Playing XI: KL Rahul (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Marcus Stoinis, Ayush Badoni, Krunal Pandya, Jaydev Unadkat, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Mark Wood
Lucknow Super Giants IPL 2023 Schedule
The IPL 2023 will have 10 teams split into two virtual groups. Each team will face the five teams from the opposite group twice and meet the four teams in their own group once. Lucknow Super Giants are placed into Group A with Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals.
The IPL 2023 returns to its original ‘home and away' fixtures format. LSG will play seven of their group matches at their home venue of Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow. The Super Giants will begin their campaign on April 1st with a clash against Delhi Capitals at home.
Lucknow Super Giants Squad: Strengths and Weaknesses
Lucknow Super Giants have strengthened their squad from the previous edition. But they still have some challenges in front of them. Let's take a look at their strengths and weaknesses that could define their IPL 2023 campaign.
Lucknow Super Giants have a complimentary opening pair in KL Rahul and Quinton de Kock. Rahul has been in pretty good form and only needs to up his intent in T20 cricket while de Kock has no intent issues. The South African batter has been in terrific form, recently smashing 100 off 44 against the Windies. The pair had scored over 1100 runs between them last season with three hundreds and seven fifties.
LSG also have very good middle order options in Deepak Hooda and Nicholas Pooran. Hooda was excellent in IPL 2022, scoring 451 runs at 32 average and 136. Playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad, Pooran had struck 306 runs at an average of 38 and strike rate of 144.
The Super Giants have a very good bowling attack, despite the loss of Mohsin Khan. Mark Wood, Avesh Khan and Jaydev Unadkat form the pace unit. Wood is more suited to bowling as an enforcer and that could mean Avesh will have to bowl predominantly in death overs. The spin department comprises Ravi Bishnoi, Krunal Pandya and Deepak Hooda, which provides enough variety.
This Lucknow Super Giants squad doesn't have many weaknesses as such. One major issue for them could be the lack of firepower in the lower middle order.
They have Marcus Stoinis, Ayush Badoni and Krunal Pandya at no. 5-7, and there's not much power barring Stoinis. The Australian himself hasn't been in great form and has his issues against spin.
LSG's bowling attack is their strength but it could also be their weakness. Jaydev Unadkat has been in superb form in domestic cricket. However, Wood and Avesh are volatile in nature and can be very expensive at times.
Quinton de Kock has been in magnificent form but he has one major obstacle. Playing spin at the home venue in Lucknow. If Lucknow pitch assists spin as it generally does, de Kock could be a concern at the top of the order.
Can LSG win the IPL 2023?
So can the Lucknow Super Giants squad win the IPL 2023? While most of the teams in the competition have regressed or are battling several issues, LSG have managed to get better than the previous season. They have a pretty good side and are one of the favourites to make it to the playoffs. From there, it's all about how they handle the pressure on the big stage.