"Have players who tend to walk straight into the XI," Gautam Gambhir says of Lucknow Super Giants' auction strategy

Former Indian opener and Lucknow Super Giants mentor, Gautam Gambhir has opened up on the franchise’s strategy so far in the IPL 2022 mega auction. Lucknow has been very active on the auction from day one and they went in really hard for a lot of players. The new franchise was acquired by the RPSG group last year for 7090 crores and have done really well in the mega auction so far.

KL Rahul was the first retention for the franchise for  INR 17 Crores and the likes of Marcus Stoinis and Ravi Bishnoi were the other two retentions ahead of the mega auction. They have already got a lot of backup options including stacking up the middle order with the Indian contingent and have got like for like replacements in overseas all-rounders. Rahul has already been named as the skipper for IPL 2022 as well.

You want players who can straightaway come into the XI: Gautam Gambhir

Gambhir noted that the franchise has been looking for players who are proven customers in the IPL already and have got ideal experience in the tournament over the years. The two time IPL winning captain reckoned that De Kock was purchased to free up KL from wicket keeping duties as the latter will also been batting at top and leading the side.

“We are satisfied… we bought players with experience who can walk in (to the playing XI). Yes, you can invest in a younger player, but you want players who can straightaway come into the XI,” Gautam Gambhir told in interaction with  Star Sports.

“See we wanted someone like a Quinton, because we wanted to free KL up from his keeping responsibilities. Sometimes being a keeper, captain and opening batsman can be strenuous. Then we wanted Stoinis a batting allrounder, and then we went for a bowling allrounder in Jason Holder to split between them.”

Gambhir added that Hooda and Gowtham serve them with the batting and bowling all rounders role in the side respectively while they have also roped in Krunal Pandya. He added that as they lost Prasidh Krishna to Rajasthan Royals, they went after Avesh Khan, bringing him in for a whopping INR 10 crore.

“Then we took Manish Pandey. Deepak Hooda can chip in with a few overs. Gowtham clearly from a perspective that Hooda is a batting allrounder, Gowtham is a bowling allrounder. And we are using only 3-4 stadiums, so wickets may turn later in the season. Plus we always wanted pace. Imagine if you have Mark Wood and Avesh Khan bowling at 140-145, that will always be a luxury.

“We wanted one of the two – Prasidh Krishna or Avesh Khan. Lots of people may say that he has gone for higher than what he should’ve gone for (Avesh)… but he is 23-24. We went really hard for Prasidh, and when we didn’t get him, we went for Avesh Khan. Exactly the same reason why Sunrisers went for (Umran) Malik – his pace,” he added

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