Squad gaps for LSG to fill


The Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) made a big splash at their first Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, walking away with some of the most highly valued players available at the auction. At the close of the first day, LSG gave a good account of themselves and their auction discipline but might struggle due to a tight balance of funds remaining for Day 2.

The RPSG Group would be delighted in particular with the acquisitions of Quinton de Kock and Jason Holder at somewhat reasonable rates. The overseas duo were rightly expected to attract a lot of attention, but luck and presence of mind ensured LSG cashed in. Indian pacer Avesh Khan, who lit up the IPL in 2021, has also joined LSG, but the franchise might regret splurging money on the youngster.

Mark Wood’s acquisition and the Baroda all-rounder duo of Deepak Hooda and Krunal Pandya make LSG a force to be reckoned with. However, there are a few areas where the squad could yet be strengthened. Here are three squad gaps for LSG to fill.

Left-arm pace bowler

LSG did not bid big for left-arm quicks like T Natarajan.
LSG did not bid big for left-arm quicks like T Natarajan.

Although LSG boast a strong pace bowling unit, with Avesh, Wood and Holder leading the way, the team could be worried by the similarity of the available options. Add Marcus Stoinis and Ankit Rajpoot to the mix and the squad seems to lack variety, which could be essential if LSG plan to advance deep into the competition.

A left-arm pacer – whether international or domestic – will give LSG more options, and their oppositions a different angle to get used to. Thus, such a bowler should be on top of LSG’s shopping list for the second day.

Dedicated finisher

Can Marcus Stoinis become LSG's dedicated finisher?
Can Marcus Stoinis become LSG’s dedicated finisher?

While LSG currently have some players to perform the finisher’s role if needed – such as Krunal Pandya, Marcus Stoinis and Jason Holder – none of these names are best utilized at the No. 6 position. Stoinis and Pandya are better used in the upper-middle order, while Holder is more accustomed to batting lower down.

LSG already have a decent middle order to reduce the pressure on KL Rahul and De Kock at the top of the order. To reliably reach challenging totals in IPL 2022, LSG can hunt for a finisher at the auction.

LSG need off-spin bowling options

Deepak Hooda's gentle off-breaks may not cut it for LSG in IPL 2022.
Deepak Hooda’s gentle off-breaks may not cut it for LSG in IPL 2022.

Currently, if LSG have a weakness, it is in their spin department. The team has bet big on young Ravi Bishnoi, who has never played international cricket, and Krunal Pandya, who has failed to impress over several seasons at the Mumbai Indians (MI). The team could also struggle when bowling to southpaws, although Bishnoi’s stock ball is his googly.

To provide backups to Bishnoi and Pandya, as well as give the team a tactical advantage, the team should invest in a good off-spinner in tomorrow’s day of bidding. Should LSG fill these gaps, they will undoubtedly have a strong squad for the foreseeable future.

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