Lucknow Super Giants franchise is pleased that they could stick to the plan of bagging “high performance, multi-utility” players in the IPL 2022 auction, according to franchise owner Sanjiv Goenka and head coach Andy Flower.
The KL Rahul-led Lucknow Super Giants had a very good first day at the IPL 2022 auction, probably the best among all franchises, and followed it up on Sunday with the handy Rs 2 crore purchase of pacer Dushmantha Chameera and dashing opener Evin Lewis.
Lucknow Super Giants Franchise Glad To Select Multi Skilled Multi-Dimensional Players Along With Backup Options: Sanjiv Goenka
The new IPL team Lucknow Super Giants is the only franchise to have spent the entire amount of Rs 90 crore in the IPL Mega Auction 2022. Lucknow Super Giants also spent a whopping Rs 8.75 crore to buy the West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder.
Quinton de Kock and Manish Pandey were bought for Rs 6.75 cr and Rs 4.60 cr respectively. Lucknow Super Giants also bid big for Krunal Pandya and clinched him for a cool Rs 8.25 crore. His former Baroda teammate Deepak Hooda was also taken by Lucknow Super Giants for Rs 5.75 crore.
“I’m glad we seem to have a well-considered, versatile squad. We wanted to have a lot of multi-skilled, multi-dimensional players and some backup options and we could pull it off,” RPSG Group chairman and franchise owner Sanjiv Goenka said.
“Even though we had all plans in place, there was a lot of thinking on our feet involved. We got a great opener in Quinton (de Kock). We have a very good allrounder in Jason Holder. In Rahul and Manish Pandey we have two solid Indian batsmen.”
Lucknow now have a slew of all-round options, including the retained Marcus Stoinis. In a new trend, spin-bowling allrounders like Krunal Pandya (8. 25 crore) and Deepak Hooda (Rs 5. 75 crore) were much in demand. Andy Flower, however, insisted Lucknow had not consciously created the trend, even though they seem to have factored in the wearing pitches in the second half of the season.
“I wouldn’t blanket-value one type of cricketer with the value of another type,” Flower said. “In Krunal’s case, we targeted the individual. He has loads of IPL experience, is a very useful spin option and can bat at No. 5. It was a first for me, planning with Gautam Gambhir (team mentor), Vijay Dahiya (assistant coach) and KL (Rahul). I’m glad all the planning was on point.”
Sanjiv Goenka said, “In the auction, it was a conscious effort to go for spinners, particularly multi-utility spinners. That’s also worked out well. The team looks balanced.”
Deepak Hooda and Krunal Pandya were teammates in the domestic arena playing for Baroda before Deepak Hooda revealed that the elder Pandya brother was abusive towards him during practice sessions. Soon after, he switched allegiances and went to play for Rajasthan.
Andy Flower Pleased With The Addition Of Long Term Prospect Pacer Avesh Khan
The franchise also bagged speedster Avesh Khan, who was the second-highest wicket-taker playing for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021(24 scalps), for Rs 10 crore to partner England pacer Mark Wood.
“I’m pleased with the addition of a long-term prospect like Avesh,” said Flower. “He is a super performer. He is fast, has a good slower ball and lots of variations.”
Luckily for Lucknow, the injury-prone Mark Wood is expected to be available for a large part of the season, meaning a formidable new-ball pairing. Avesh Khan was bought for Rs 10 crore in the auction while another uncapped bowler, leggie Ravi Bishnoi, was retained for Rs 4 crore by the same team, but Sanjiv Goenka reckons that there is no imbalance in the whole auction process for the much-in-demand ‘uncapped-with-IPL-experience’ players.
“That’s not how I see it,” said Goenka. “It’s all part of the auction mechanism. Much depends on when your name comes up, how much of the squad has been finalized by the teams at that point. I don’t see it as an imbalance. The auction is a very transparent, dynamic process.”
Lucknow Super Giants had roped in KL Rahul for INR 17 crores followed by Marcus Stoinis for INR 9.2 crores and uncapped Ravi Bishnoi for INR 4 crores.
Gautam Gambhir, their mentor named a ‘steal deal’ for the franchise which they roped in on Sunday (February 13). Lucknow bought former Chennai Super Kings (CSK) spin-bowling all-rounder K Gowtham for INR 9 million (INR 90 lakhs). CSK brought the Karnataka player in the IPL 2021 auction for INR 92.5 million (INR 9.25 crore).