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Lucknow Super Giants bank on all-round strength

They finished third in the league in their maiden IPL season, and have strengthened their batting by signing Nicholas Pooran

Himanshu Agrawal
Lucknow Super Giants celebrate the wicket of Dewald Brevis, Lucknow Super Giants vs Mumbai Indians, IPL 2022, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, April 24, 2022

Lucknow Super Giants start with three games in seven days. Quinton de Kock will not be available for two of them  •  BCCI

Where LSG finished last season

In their maiden IPL season, Lucknow Super Giants finished third in the league stage with nine wins and five losses, before losing to Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Eliminator.

LSG squad for IPL 2023

KL Rahul (capt), Avesh Khan, Ayush Badoni, Quinton de Kock (wk), K Gowtham, Deepak Hooda, Prerak Mankad, Kyle Mayers, Amit Mishra, Mohsin Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Krunal Pandya, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Ravi Bishnoi, Daniel Sams, Karan Sharma, Romario Shepherd, Marcus Stoinis, Swapnil Singh, Jaydev Unadkat, Manan Vohra, Mark Wood, Mayank Yadav, Yash Thakur, Yudhvir Singh

Player availability - Quinton de Kock's late start

Quinton de Kock will join the Super Giants only on April 3, after completing South Africa's ODI series against Netherlands. That means he will miss their season opener, against Delhi Capitals on April 1, and also their second match, against Chennai Super Kings on April 3.
Left-arm quick Mohsin Khan, who was a breakthrough star for Super Giants last season, is expected to miss the majority of IPL 2023 with a shoulder injury. ESPNcricinfo has learned that Mohsin, who was among the best bowlers last IPL, underwent surgery to remove blood clots in his bowling shoulder last year and is yet to resume bowling.

What's new with LSG this year

Super Giants paid INR 16 crore (US $1.95 million approx.) to acquire Nicholas Pooran as a finisher. He provides a wicketkeeping option too.
They also have an in-form Jaydev Unadkat, who could carry the confidence of returning to the national side to the IPL. Unadkat also provides back-up for the injured Mohsin, who hasn't played any cricket since IPL 2022.

The good - Krunal Pandya and other allrounders

A bunch of allrounders in K Gowtham, Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya, Romario Shepherd, Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Sams and Mayers give the Super Giants a lot of flexibility. Two of the seven bowl offspin, one is a left-arm spinner, three are right-arm medium-pacers, and the other bowls left-arm pace.
Their frontline attack has genuinely high-pace options in Mark Wood and Avesh Khan, aside from three left-arm seam options in Unadkat, Sams and Mohsin. Their spin-bowling department also offers lots of variety.

The not-so-good - Who after KL Rahul?

An area of concern for Super Giants could be the absence of experienced India players apart from their captain KL Rahul. They have plenty of Indian domestic performers, but Super Giants will need them to consistently punch above their weight.

Schedule insights

Super Giants' season starts with three games in seven days, which includes travel from Lucknow to Chennai and back. Their first six matches are all night games, so they can expect dew to play a part and they will have to figure out how to maximise the new rules on naming their XI after the toss quickly.

The big question

Himanshu Agrawal is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo