Predicting LSG’s 3 first-choice overseas players for IPL 2022

The Lucknow SuperGiants (LSG) will be one of the two new franchises making their debut in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 season. They picked KL Rahul (₹17 crores), Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis (₹9.2 crores) and young leggie Ravi Bishnoi (₹4 crores) ahead of the auction. On the expected line, the franchise named Rahul as their skipper. At the IPL 2022 mega auction in Bengaluru held in February, they purchased some key players. Pacer Avesh Khan, who was the second-leading wicket-taker last season, was their most expensive purchase at ₹10 crores. All-rounders Jason Holder and Krunal Pandya were picked for ₹8.75 crores and ₹8.25 crore respectively.

Also, wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock was bought for ₹6.25 crore and aggressive hitter Deepak Hooda for ₹5.75 crores. LSG also paid ₹7.50 crore for England pacer Mark Wood.

IPL 2022: LSG’s key overseas players

Each franchise can field a maximum of four overseas cricketers. We take a look at three names who could be first-choice players in LSG’s playing XI during the upcoming edition.

Marcus Stoinis

Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis is expected to be a key figure in the LSG set-up. The fact that he was picked up by the franchise ahead of the auction is an indication of how highly he is rated by the think tank. The 32-year-old is a versatile cricketer who can bat anywhere in the line-up. He can open the innings and finish as well. Bowling is not Stoinis’ strong suit but he can chip in with two to three overs every game and has the knack for picking up some crucial wickets as well. The Aussie represented the Delhi Capitals over the last two seasons. He played a big role in them reaching the finals in 2020, hammering 352 runs in 17 games at a strike rate of 148.52. He also claimed 13 wickets. Last season, though, he had underwhelming returns.

Quinton De Kock

Lucknow has West Indies’ dashing batter Evin Lewis (₹2 crores) as an opening option. However, given his consistency and success in the IPL, South Africa’s wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock is likely to get the nod as the opening partner for skipper Rahul. The left-right combination could prove to be dangerous at the top of the order. The left-hander was with the Mumbai Indians (MI) from 2019 to 2021. De Kock had stellar seasons in 2019 and 2020, notching up over 500 runs as MI clinched back-to-back titles. However, he did not deliver the goods last season, managing only 297 runs in 11 games at a strike rate of 116.01. As a result, he was released by the franchise ahead of the IPL mega auction.

Jason Holder

West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder is likely to be a certainty in the LSG playing XI given what he brings to the table. He is a brilliant pacer who has all the variations in his kitty to unsettle batters and catch them off-guard. He is also a clean striker of the cricket ball, who has the ability to change the course of an IPL match with his blazing cameos. Holder was among the few positives for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) during a horrendous IPL 2021 campaign. He claimed 16 wickets in eight matches at a strike rate of 11.93 and an economy rate of 7.75. On the batting front, he came in towards the end of the innings and played a couple of crucial knocks. The former West Indies captain is a cricketer with high utility value given the skills he possesses.