Lucknow Super Giants Squad Analysis – A young IPL team :
The team we will be covering in this set of previews will be the newly formed franchise Lucknow Super Giants. It’s their first season and they had drafted KL Rahul for 17 crores, Marcus Stoinis for 9.2 crores, and Ravi Bishnoi for 4 crores. Bishnoi might be a steal considering his potential and as an investment in the longer run. The Lucknow Super Giants went in with 59.8 crores ahead of the mega auction and here’s what they got after the mega auction:
Squad Analysis using Cricket Analytics:
Lucknow Super Giants squad analysis- Strengths:
Great depth of all-rounders :
Lucknow Super Giants have invested in a lot of all-rounders in this auction. They’ve two of the best T20 all-rounders at the moment, Marcus Stoinis and Jason Holder. Here’s a chart of the performances of these giants in T20s in the last 2 years:
Marcus Stoinis has been extremely impressed with the bat in the last couple of years in the T20s. He’s generally quite slow in the powerplay and he paces up his game in the middle overs against spinners. He strikes at 145 against spin which could make him an ideal Number 3 or Number 4 batter for the Lucknow Super Giants. In the death too, he’s deadly striking at nearly 200.
However, his bowling isn’t as effective as his batting. Bowling in the powerplay has been his strength but considering the fact that the Lucknow Super Giants have better options with the ball, he might not bowl in the powerplay. In the remaining phases, he has been terrible with the ball. While he has picked a wicket for 17.55 runs, he still goes for an economy of 12.47 in the death. However, he still is a crucial asset to pick up wickets at regular intervals.
Despite having great stats with the bat in the powerplay, Jason Holder isn’t going to bat at the top order considering the number of options the Lucknow Super Giants have in their top order. However, Holder will be effective with the bat in the backend of the innings striking at nearly 156.
With the ball, in the powerplay, he doesn’t pick as many wickets. However, he contains the run flow and is a way better bowler in the middle overs. At the death, Holder picks a wicket for every 12.5 runs while going at an economy of more than 10. The holder is a more than handy all-rounder and is a good pick by LSG.
Apart from these all-rounders, the Lucknow Super Giants also bought Krunal Pandya and Deepak Hooda (putting them in the same sentence is quite funny). However, Krunal hasn’t been as effective as he should be in the last 3 seasons averaging 16 with the bat and 42 with the ball. But if the Lucknow Super Giants use him in the right phases (powerplay), they can get the maximum potential out of him.
He averages 27.25 with the ball with an economy of just 6.6 in the powerplay since 2019. On the other hand, Deepak Hooda has been very very inconsistent in IPL. Apart from the knock he played vs RR last season, he was woeful throughout the tournament. Again, he needs to be properly used this season like Krunal.
They also have Krishnappa Gowtham who had a sensational season in 2018 for the Royals, ever since that season he has been extremely poor in IPL. He got picked for 9.8 crores last season for CSK and managed to do nothing apart from a lone drop catch. Their overseas all-rounders are top quality and the Indian ones are bits and pieces. However, if they use those all-rounders properly this season, they might as well have an incredible chance of winning this IPL season.
Lucknow Super Giants – Top-order options:
The Lucknow Super Giants have a tremendous amount of options in the top order which is a great sign. It sorts out the availability issues of different players and also if a certain player is struggling, they can get a like for like replacement in the top order. At the moment, they have KL Rahul, Quinton de Kock, Evin Lewis, Kyle Mayers, Manan Vohra, Manish Pandey, and even Marcus Stoinis could bat the top order.
KL Rahul has been absolutely phenomenal in the last 4 seasons. Yes, he has had strike rate issues but the problem is that he didn’t have batters to support him in the time with PBKS. Quinton de Kock has been extremely consistent in IPL but he had a poor season last time around. He has a weakness against spinners but he still adds as a great package considering that he can keep too.
Evin Lewis is obviously a gun opener and he had a decent stint with RR last year in the latter half. Manish Pandey had a mediocre season last time around but he got the runs but he struck too low, hopefully, he’ll change his game this year.
I’ve lined up the batsmen who might potentially bat in the top order. Most of the batters in here are exceptional in the powerplay but not as much in the middle overs. Three batsmen out of the four in the top 4, strike lower than 140 in middle overs (considering Lewis is a backup option for de Kock). We’ll discuss this in the next segment but for now, that is a solid top-order regardless.
LSG Squad analysis – Pace Bowling Battery (Overs 1-15) :
LSG’s pace bowling battery is just terrific till the death overs. They also have Bishnoi to bowl in tandem with the pacers. They’ve bought Avesh Khan, Mark Wood, Ankit Rajpoot, and Dushmantha Chameera for the pace department. Apart from these pacers, they also have Jason Holder and Marcus Stoinis.
Avesh Khan has been fantastic bowling in both phases with an economy of under 7 and a terrific bowling average as well. Mark Wood has been poor in both phases with a bowling average of 30 while going over 8 runs an over in both cases. He also hasn’t played IPL apart from a lone game against the Mumbai Indians where he got hammered all over the park.
Jason Holder has also been phenomenal bowling in both phases, while he doesn’t pick up as many wickets in the powerplay he still has a terrific economy. In the middle overs too, Jason Holder has been nothing short of exceptional. That leaves us with Stoinis, Rajpoot, and Chameera. We’ve already discussed Stoinis’ role previously and Chameera has been average in the powerplay but exceptional in the middle overs. Rajpoot hasn’t been given enough game time to judge. He’ll probably be their backup seamer this year.
Lucknow Super Giants squad analysis – Weaknesses:
Lucknow Super Giants – Spin Bowling :
Bishnoi is a gun spinner with plenty of variations and also is a future investment for LSG. However, the spinners LSG have apart from Bishnoi aren’t that great. Krunal Pandya has been poor with the ball in the last 3 seasons (though he can be more effective in the powerplay).
Shahbaz Nadeem averages 39 with the ball at an economy of 8.68. That leaves us with Krishnappa Gowtham. Gowtham has been terrible since the breakout season he had in 2018. Clearly, they would’ve loved to have another great spinner to go in tandem with Bishnoi. A lot is on Bishnoi’s shoulders especially in the middle overs to restrict the run flow.
Lucknow Super Giants – Batting against spin :
We discussed previously that the LSG batters do find it tough to score against spin. None of the batters in the top 7 apart from Marcus Stoinis strike over 130 against spin since 2020 in T20s. If Stoinis gets out early it might cause some serious issues accelerating against spin. The other teams would love to attack with a top-quality spinner to contain the run flow. Here’s a chart of the potential top 7 LSG batsmen against spin in T20s since 2020.
There’s an obvious weakness in the batters against spin with KL striking at 110, QDK at 128, Pandey at 111, Pandya at 91, Hooda at 126, and Holder at 108. Stoinis is the only one who strikes at over 130 against spin which makes his role very very crucial for the Lucknow Super Giants.
LSG squad analysis – Likely Playing XI:
Lucknow super giants squad analysis – Conclusion:
Lucknow Super Giants have done a great job in building a strong squad. Overall, I’ll give them 8/10 for this auction. The weak links are their fourth main bowler which is a tossup between Rajpoot and Nadeem with both being out of action for a while now. They might as well reach the playoffs of this IPL given the squad they have and if they utilize all their players properly (eg: Krunal bowling upfront in the powerplay).
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