KL Rahul in focus in strong batting line-up as LSG look to break Eliminator jinx in new IPL season


KL Rahul LSG, IPL 2024
Image Source : PTI KL Rahul and Deepak Hooda.

Indian wicket-keeper batter KL Rahul and his batting position will be under the spotlight as Lucknow Super Giants are looking to break their Eliminator jinx in the Indian Premier League. Coming into their third season of the tournament, LSG have appointed Justin Langer as their new head coach who comes in for Andy Flower. 

KL Rahul makes his return to competitive cricket after missing out on the major chunk of the India vs England Test series. While the BCCI did not confirm his fitness status for IPL when the board gave updates on Rishabh Pant, Prasidh Krishna and Mohammed Shami, a report in PTI informed that Rahul would be fit in time for LSG’s opening match on March 24. However, he is told to “avoid squatting initially” which means that he might not keep wickets in the few initial matches.

LSG’s new buys

LSG added fast-bowling stocks at the IPL auctions. They bought in David Willey (Rs 2 crore), Shivam Mavi (Rs. 6.40 crore), Arshin Kulkarni (Rs. 20 lakh), M. Siddharth (Rs. 2.40 crore), Ashton Turner (Rs. 1 crore) and Mohd. Arshad Khan (Rs. 20 lakh).

LSG’s strengths

LSG have a strong batting line-up and all-rounders up their ranks. The likes of KL Rahul, Nicholas Pooran, Marcus Stoinis, Quinton de Kock, Devdutt Padikkal, Kyle Mayers and Ayush Badoni boost their batting armoury. They have good options in the all-rounders’ category too with Krunal Pandya, Stoinis, Arshin Kulkarni and Kyle Mayers in their ranks. 

LSG’s weaknesses

There are a few weaknesses still in the team. There is a lack of experienced fast-bowling players and one may doubt the spin stocks too, considering they host games at the slow pitches of Ekana Cricket Stadium. LSG have Ravi Bishnoi, Amit Mishra and Krunal Pandya in their team and added Manimaran Siddharth, who is yet to make his IPL debut. Apart from them, they look thin on spin-bowling. 

They have good names in the fast-bowling department in Shamar Joseph, David Willey, and Naveen-ul-Haq, but there is a lack of experience as there is no veteran pacer.

Another question they need to address is what would be Rahul’s batting position. There were reports earlier that he is set to go into the middle order this season and also keep wickets as he looks to come into the fray for the T20 World Cup in June. 

They have another reason to change his batting position as LSG have acquired Padikkal into the team as a trade for Avesh Khan and already have Mayers and de Kock in the ranks.

LSG’s probable playing XI:

Devdutt Padikkal, Quinton de Kock/Kyle Mayers, Deepak Hooda, KL Rahul, Krunal Pandya, Marcus Stoinis/Ashton Turner, Nicholas Pooran, K Gowtham, Ravi Bishnoi, Naveen-ul-Haq/Shamar Joseph, Yash Thakur/Shivam Mavi

Impact player options: Ayush Badoni can come in for an Indian bowler when they bat to make the batting even taller and Shivam Mavi or Yash Thakur can come when they bowl


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