A sorry display from the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) saw them crash out of IPL 2023 with an 81-run defeat at the hands of the Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Eliminator at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday, May 24.
Having opted to bat first, MI posted a solid 182/8 in their 20 overs on the back of contributions from Cameron Green, Suryakumar Yadav and Nehal Wadhera among others. In response, the Super Giants came a cropper against some outstanding bowling while not helping their own cause with a string of chaotic run-outs.
Akash Madhwal returned 5/5 off 3.3 overs to rout LSG for 101 and send them packing from IPL 2023. Having failed to cross the Eliminator hurdle for the second time in as many seasons, the Super Giants were left licking their wounds after what was a poor display in a knockout match.
On the back of their exit, we look at three players who LSG underutilized throughout their IPL 2023 campaign:
#1 Amit Mishra
Veteran leg-spinner Amit Mishra was expected to play a crucial role for LSG in IPL 2023, particularly with the impact player rule in place. He certainly did, as he turned back the clock with his guile and control to deceive batters at will.
However, that Mishra played just seven matches was quite a surprise as the Super Giants failed to use his skills to the fullest on multiple occasions. He was given just two overs in Bangalore before being substituted out of the contest and he sent down only a couple of overs in Lucknow too against the Gujarat Titans.
What was more flummoxing was the fact that Mishra didn’t even play on a helpful surface in Lucknow against MI or in the Eliminator against the same team on a sluggish track.
Clearly, Mishra’s wicket-taking ability through the middle overs wasn’t used to the fullest by LSG. They might just be ruing this, with the curtains coming down on their campaign.
#2 Nicholas Pooran
This might come as a bit of a surprise, given the impact that Nicholas Pooran had for LSG in IPL 2023. Yet, the fact remains that despite scoring 358 runs at an average of 29.83 and a jaw-dropping strike rate of 172.94, he could have been used far better by the team.
It all started with the match in Chennai against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Despite the presence of two left-arm spinners in the opposition, the Super Giants sent Krunal Pandya up instead of Pooran, who ought to have been their designated spin-hitter. The need to have a left-right combination saw them promote Marcus Stoinis too ahead of Pooran, leaving the West Indian with too much to do once he strode out.
If anything, this was a pattern with LSG throughout their campaign. Pooran was shielded either out of a need to have a left-right pair in the middle or purely out of a failure to play the matchup card to perfection, with Stoinis often sent to counter spin and Pooran held back to play pace when their strengths are the exact opposite.
Even if the Super Giants ever wanted a left-handed batter to go up the order, it was often Pandya who was sent up and it often fell flat on their face.
#3 Prerak Mankad
Prerak Mankad was one of the steals of the IPL 2023 auction for LSG, given his consistency and ability to rise under pressure in domestic cricket. He got a go as an impact substitute in the game against GT in Lucknow, although he could only watch from the non-striker’s end as the hosts made a mess of a straightforward chase.
With Deepak Hooda failing to leave a mark and KL Rahul picking up an injury, Mankad was primed to finally get a regular run in the playing XI. The first game that the team played post Rahul’s injury – a home fixture against CSK – saw them play Manan Vohra and Karan Sharma, only to leave them both out right after.
Mankad was subsequently given a go against the SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH), where his measured unbeaten 64 steered the team home in a must-win encounter. He also chipped in with a useful 26 against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), and you can only wonder how much more of an impact he could have left had he been drafted into the side much earlier.
Technically sound against both pace and spin, Mankad has an uncomplicated game that would have served LSG even better for a larger part of the tournament. His medium pacers were also left unused, and it is something that the team will want to look at next year.
Which other LSG player do you think wasn’t utilized to the fullest in IPL 2023? Have your say in the comments section below!
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