IPL 2023 Season Review: Lucknow Super Giants (LSG)
After losing the Eliminator of IPL 2023 to MI, Lucknow Super Giants crashed out of the tournament with 8 wins in 15 matches this season.
Lucknow Super Giants, just as they did in their inaugural season, secured a commendable fourth-place finish in the Indian Premier League (IPL 2023). After the completion of the league stage, Unfortunately, their journey came to an end in the Eliminator, where they faced a devastating defeat. In a repeat of last year, it was the Mumbai Indians who dealt the knockout blow this time, inflicting an overwhelming 81-run defeat upon Lucknow Super Giants at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
The Super Giants had high expectations for this season, particularly after making significant investments in the player auction in Kochi last December. The acquisition of the dynamic West Indian wicket-keeper batsman Nicholas Pooran for Rs 16 crore added to their anticipation. While they can take pride in qualifying for the playoffs for the second consecutive year, the fact that they couldn’t secure a top-three finish for the second time in a row will undoubtedly be a disappointment for them.
In the League stage, Lucknow Super Giants finished in 3rd position in the points table, accumulating a total of 17 points throughout their campaign. Out of their 14 league games, they emerged victorious in 8 matches and experienced defeat in 5 matches. Additionally, one of their matches was canceled due to rain. Unfortunately, in the playoffs, Lucknow Super Giants lost the Eliminator match. In total, they played 15 matches, won 8 matches, lost 6 matches, and had 1 match washed out due to rain.
Leading Run Scorer – Marcus Stoinis:
Stoinis undoubtedly shone as one of the standout performers for Lucknow Super Giants in 2023. He stood out as the sole batsman to surpass the 400-run mark and played a crucial role in stabilizing the fragile middle-order. Across 15 innings, he accumulated an impressive total of 408 runs, showcasing a strike rate of 150, and recorded three half-centuries. Notably, his unbeaten knock of 89 against the Mumbai Indians was instrumental in LSG’s victory during the league stage. Throughout the season, Stoinis hit 28 boundaries and cleared the ropes 27 times with powerful sixes.
Leading Wicket Taker – Ravi Bishnoi:
Bishnoi, the emerging spin bowler for Lucknow, proved to be their top wicket-taker and established himself as the leader of the spin bowling attack. Displaying exceptional skills, he had an outstanding tournament, claiming a total of 16 wickets in 15 matches. Bishnoi maintained an impressive economy rate of 7.74 throughout the tournament, showcasing his ability to control the flow of runs. His best bowling figures of 3/28 came against Chennai Super Kings in the league stage.
The underperformer of the season
Despite being given the opportunity to play 12 matches in IPL 2023, Hooda had a disappointing batting performance, ending the season with a low batting average of 7.64. Throughout the tournament, he managed to score only 84 runs across the 12 matches he played.
Despite facing an injury that shortened his campaign, Rahul, recognized for his consistent run-scoring in the IPL over the past few years, fell short in accumulating runs, managing only 274 in nine matches. However, his strike rate of 113.22 while opening the batting proved to be a challenge for the team, significantly impacting Lucknow’s overall batting performances.
Naveen Ul Haq made a significant contribution to Lucknow Super Giants’ bowling department, featuring in 8 matches and impressively claiming 11 wickets with an economy rate of 7.82. Naveen’s consistent ability to bowl over 135kmph, coupled with his skill in moving the ball around, proved to be advantageous for him. Additionally, he can bowl well-executed slower deliveries that further enhance his effectiveness.
Stoinis emerged as the highest run-scorer among Lucknow Super Giants’ batters, amassing an impressive total of 408 runs. He stood alone as the only player to surpass the 400-run milestone in the team. Additionally, Pooran made a significant impact in the middle order, contributing 358 runs throughout the season with a remarkable strike rate of 172.95. Both Stoinis and Pooran played crucial roles in strengthening Lucknow Super Giants’ batting lineup and were instrumental in their team’s performance during the season.
Top team performance
Lucknow Super Giants produced one of their most outstanding team performances when they secured a thrilling one-wicket victory over RCB in a last-over finish. The remarkable chase was led by Marcus Stoinis, who scored a blazing 65 off just 30 deliveries, and Nicholas Pooran, who played a sensational innings of 62 off only 19 balls. Their extraordinary batting display enabled Lucknow Super Giants to successfully chase down a daunting target of 213 set by RCB, resulting in a memorable victory for the team.
LSG delivered another top performance which came against SRH, securing a remarkable seven-wicket victory. Prerak Mankad’s unbeaten 64* off 45 balls, combined with impactful innings from Marcus Stoinis (40 off 25) and Nicholas Pooran (44* off 13), sparked a brilliant comeback that led LSG to a memorable win.
Captain Report Card:
In the initial 9 matches, KL Rahul captained Lucknow before being ruled out of the season due to injury. During Rahul’s captaincy, Lucknow secured 5 wins out of 9 matches. After Rahul’s exit, Krunal Pandya took over as the captain. Under Krunal’s leadership, Lucknow won 3 matches, lost 1, and had 1 match washed out due to rain in the league stage. Ultimately, Lucknow faced a defeat against MI in the eliminator match. Despite the captaincy changes, Lucknow managed to finish 3rd in the league stage and qualify for the playoffs. However, both Krunal and Rahul struggled with their individual performances.
Lessons to be learned
LSG had a promising season but once again faced elimination from the tournament, similar to the previous year. While they managed to qualify for the playoffs both times, they were unable to progress beyond the eliminator stage. One area for improvement is the form of KL Rahul, which was not up to par this season. Additionally, LSG lacked a reliable backup for Rahul after his injury. Looking ahead, it would be beneficial for LSG to focus on acquiring a talented Indian batsman for the top or middle order in the next year to strengthen their lineup.