The Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) have been playoff contenders in the last two Indian Premier League (IPL) seasons, consistently reaching that stage. However, their quest for the final has eluded them, facing eliminations in the Eliminator round in both instances. The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) proved to be their stumbling block in IPL 2022, followed by a defeat against the Mumbai Indians (MI) in the previous season.
Strategic shifts: Lucknow Super Giants’ backroom overhaul
In their pursuit of achieving greater heights in the upcoming IPL season, the Super Giants have undertaken significant changes in their backroom staff before the 2024 auction. Notably, Andy Flower and Gautam Gambhir, who were part of the previous setup, have moved on from the franchise. Stepping into a challenging role as the head coach is Justin Langer, who brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the team. These alterations signify the franchise’s commitment to refining its strategies and dynamics in the quest for IPL success.
KL Rahul’s performance in the previous IPL edition
During the previous edition of the cash-rich league, the Super Giants faced a setback as their captain, KL Rahul, a regular opener for the team alongside Quinton de Kock, could only participate in nine games. Unfortunately, Rahul’s IPL campaign was curtailed due to a thigh injury sustained while fielding. Despite his limited appearances, Rahul showcased his batting prowess by amassing 273 runs. Nevertheless, the modest strike rate of 113 during those innings placed additional pressure on the middle-order batters, highlighting the importance of a dynamic batting approach for the team.
Sunil Gavaskar’s vision: Crafting LSG’s top 4 batting order for IPL 2024
In a recent discussion on Star Sports, Sunil Gavaskar shared insights into the batting dynamics of the Super Giants, particularly if Rahul were to play in the middle order. Gavaskar expressed optimism about LSG, emphasizing their history of consistently performing above expectations. He suggested that if the team maintains this trend, they will remain on the cusp of the top four teams. Gavaskar proposed a potential batting order with Rahul at No. 4, indicating a strategic move for the captain. He further suggested Nicholas Pooran for No. 3.
“They are a good team. They have been a team which has somehow always played above their potential. If they continue to do that, they will be in the periphery of the top four all the time. KL Rahul might bat at No. 4, Nicholas Pooran can bat at No. 3. Nicholas Pooran, the more overs that he gets, the more destructive he can be. I saw in the Major League Cricket, he was just sensational. So clearly I think Pooran needs to get a few more overs,” Gavaskar said.
He further recommended the opening slot to be occupied by Quinton de Kock, partnering with young talent Devdutt Padikkal.
“Quinton de Kock, the opening bat. Devdutt Padikkal, who they have bought, might be the opener with him. So I think their batting seems to be definitely sorted. It’s the bowling where they need to do a little bit more so that they continue to be in the top four,” the 74-year-old concluded.
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