The Lucknow Super Giants made the playoffs in their first Indian Premier League (IPL) season, exceeding all expectations in their maiden season. LSG, boasting one of the strongest teams on paper last year, made it to the Eliminator before losing to Royal Challengers Bangalore.
With a successful opening season, the Lucknow franchise has retained its core players and with a decent purse, they will look to fill the small areas of concern in the squad. They released some big names including Jason Holder, Manish Pandey and Evin Lewis.
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Lucknow will have to fill 10 slots at the auction, four of which can be overseas players with a budget of 23.35 crores. Jason Holder, who they bought for Rs 8.75 crore, might have been released to fund one of Curran, Stokes and Green.
With Manish Pandey shown the door, they will need an Indian batsman to bat at No.3 and Mayank Agarwal is a solid option, although it remains to be seen if they can afford an overseas all-rounder and marquee Indian batsman.
With Lucknow releasing a host of fast bowlers, including Andrew Tye and Dushmantha Chameera, they will look to invest in at least two pacers. Sri Lankan white-ball skipper Dashun Shanaka could be a cheap option, while England’s Reece Topley will provide a left-arm option.
They might be having trouble in the spin department if Ravi Bishnoi has a bad tournament or gets injured. Although they have spin-bowling all-rounders like Krunal Pandya and Deepak Hooda who would do a decent job, they still need a first-choice spinner. Hence, a quality backup for Bishnoi should be high on their priority list.