Lucknow Super Giants made their Indian Premier League (IPL) debut in style in the 2022 season. Led by KL Rahul and powered by the likes of Quinton de Kock and Avesh Khan, LSG made it to the playoffs on their first attempt.
However, a narrow defeat in an high-scoring eliminator against Royal Challengers Bangalore ended an enterprising campaign for the team.
Heading into IPL 2023, head coach Andy Flower and the rest of the LSG thinktank had already gotten into action to prepare a title surge ahead of the new campaign. In the mini-auction which was held on December 23, 2022, the Super Giants welcomed some new faces, who are expected to burst onto the scene in IPL 2023.
Nicholas Pooran, the swashbuckling West Indian wicketkeeper-batter, was the team's most expensive signing. Amit Mishra, Daniel Sams, Romario Shepherd, Naveen Ul Haq, Jaydev Unadkat, Yash Thakur, Swapnil Singh, Yudhvir Charak and Prerak Mankad will also don the LSG kit in IPL 2023 after being roped in at the mini-auction.
LSG’s top IPL 2023 mini-auction recruits
The talented and explosive West Indian, Nicholas Pooran made his way to the Lucknow Super Giants for ₹16 crore after an enticing bidding war. The Trinidadian wicketkeeper batter smashed 306 runs at a quickfire strike rate of 144.33 in IPL 2022.
Pooran has emerged as a leader for the West Indies cricket team. He has also captained several sides in T10 and T20 cricket around the world and brings with him, the ability to jack up the scores in the closing stages of the innings. While he is an effective wicketkeeper, do not underestimate his tricky off-spin that has dismissed many a batter, often leaving them bemused in the process.
Amit Mishra has a well-deserved seat at the table of IPL legends. With 166 wickets in 154 matches, the leg-spinner is joint-third for the most wickets in IPL history. An economy rate of 7.35 after 14 seasons further amplifies his greatness.
Spinners have enjoyed bowling at the Ekana Cricket Stadium, LSG’s home turf. Mishra’s bag of tricks might prove to be game-changing, especially in the middle overs. The 40-year-old spin wizard is certainly not done yet and it remains to be seen if he can add to his tally of three hat-tricks in the IPL!
A skillful pacer hailing from Kolkata, Yash Thakur has been a headline maker for a few seasons in India’s domestic circuit. Thakur has scalped 55 wickets in the T20 format, while maintaining an economy rate of 6.68.
The meteoric rise of the Vidharbha team’s ace pacer has been worth the watch. Ever since his first domestic T20 in February 2019, Thakur has risen to the challenge. His exploits have earned him a spot at LSG for IPL 2023.
Want a glimpse of what Thakur is all about? Here’s a video from his Instagram account.
P.S. Watch out for those toe-crushing yorkers!
Daniel Sams is one of the best utility players in the T20 circuit. He can open the bowling, bowl the cutters and yorkers at the death, while also being capable of hitting a few maximums with the bat. After a rollercoaster IPL 2022 season, the Aussie will feature for the Super Giants in 2023.
Sams has amassed 1,141 runs in T20 cricket, while striking at close to 150 besides scalping 142 wickets at a decent economy rate in the 20-over format.
Naveen Ul Haq
Having successfully plied his trade in the global T20 leagues, Afghanistan pacer Naveen Ul Haq will wear the LSG colours in IPL 2023. Naveen boasts an array of variations in his bowling arsenal from cutters, slower balls to searing yorkers.
The Kabul-born speedster has picked more than 150 wickets in this format, while conceding less than eight runs per over.