There will be two new franchises in the IPL from the 2022 season.
There will be two new franchises in the IPL from the 2022 season.

IPL 2022: 3 players who can lead Lucknow franchise

Abhimanyu Bose
ANALYST

The bidding for the two new Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises, which will be part of the competition from the 2022 season, was completed on Monday. It was announced that one of the new teams will be from Lucknow and the other from Ahmedabad.

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The RP-Sanjiv Goenka group, more commonly known as the RPSG Group, won the bid for the Lucknow franchise. This will be their second foray into the IPL, having previously owned the Rising Pune Supergiants (RPSG) in 2016 and 2017.

With the Mega Auction coming up, the new franchises will get a chance to build strong teams. They will also have plenty of options to choose from to lead them.

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The teams would also like to build a core of some local players to draw crowds and allow the teams to have a sense of belonging.

The Lucknow team will be the first franchise from Uttar Pradesh to play in the IPL. They will look to get in players like Suresh Raina, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav. They all hail from the state and a few can stand out as captaincy options as well.

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They may also opt for a foreigner to skipper the team if they get the right fit.

We look at 3 players who can captain the Lucknow franchise in IPL 2022


#1 Steve Smith

Steve Smith is not a regular at Delhi Capitals and can be a good option for the Lucknow franchise.
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While Steve Smith isn't quite a local lad, he has strong connections with the RPSG group. He was appointed as the captain of the Supergiant team over MS Dhoni, even leading them to the final in IPL 2017.

With the Australian batting maestro not a guaranteed starter for the Delhi Capitals, Sanjiv Goenka will definitely be looking to swoop in for him. He would be a strong contender to lead the team in the IPL next year.

From a team balance point of view, Smith can be a great anchor for them to build their batting lineup around.

There has been a lot of debate around the cons of having an overseas player as captain, as it makes him difficult to drop if not in form. He also eats up one of four slots for foreigners. But Smith is a consistent batter and can ensure that he commands his spot.

Smith even led the Rajasthan Royals as recently as IPL 2020 and has captained Australia at the international level. So he is definitely one of the frontrunners for the Lucknow franchise.

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#2 Suresh Raina

Suresh Raina is an IPL veteran and has represented UP in the domestic career all his life.

Suresh Raina is one of the biggest names in Indian cricket, and despite being at the fag end of his career, he can be a big influence. Especially since he has represented Uttar Pradesh at the domestic level since the beginning of his career.

Raina has been with Chennai Super Kings since the beginning of the IPL barring the two years they were suspended from the tournament. He is their vice-captain, so to lure him away may be difficult.

But the perk of captaincy and having the chance to leave behind a legacy in his home state can make the veteran decide to leave CSK. This could be the final chapter in his playing career, having won the tournament with the team he has been so loyal to this year.

In the two years that CSK did not play in the IPL, Raina captained Gujarat Lions and did well, leading them to a top-of-the-table finish in 2016. Though they lost in the first Qualifier and then the Eliminator.

If the Lucknow franchise can somehow snap him up CSK, Raina would be a great option to have as a captain. He would bring them experience, talent and great brand value.


#3 Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Bhuvneshwar Kumar can prove to be a good captaincy option for the Lucknow franchise if SRH release him.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is currently in a team in turmoil, with SunRisers Hyderabad having a horror season in the IPL 2021 amid leadership troubles too. However, he is still their vice-captain and has leadership experience.

The experienced seamer is a wily T20 bowler and makes it difficult for batters with his smart use of variations and is a huge threat with the new ball.

Bhuvneshwar is also a UP local, which would make him a good pick for the Lucknow team.

While the IPL 2021 wasn't the best of seasons for him, he is a top player. If given the right backing, he can bounce right back. He has the smarts as well as the cool and calm demeanor to lead the team as well.


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Edited by Aditya Singh
 
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