IPL 2023 Lucknow Super Giants – Without captain Lokesh Rahul, LSG qualified for the play off’s
In IPL 2023, the Lucknow team performed brilliantly in the league stage and made it to the playoffs by finishing third in the points table for the second consecutive season. The contribution of captain Lokesh Rahul was immense in the success of Lucknow last season. Rahul scored 616 runs in 15 matches and was second only to Jos Buttler in the Orange Cap race. However, this season Rahul’s form was nothing special. He scored 274 runs in nine matches at a strike rate of 113.22.
After this, he was ruled out of the entire tournament due to injury. By this time Lucknow had won five out of nine matches and lost four. In such a situation, the road to the playoffs was not easy for this team.
Gambhir changed the team according to the opposition team and the pitch and made different strategies. For this reason, the Lucknow team was successful in reaching the playoffs. After Rahul’s exit, Lucknow were on the verge of losing the match against Chennai, but due to rain, Lucknow gained a point. In the next match, Gujarat defeated Lucknow by a huge margin of 56 runs. After this it seemed that this team would be out of the playoff race. In the next match, Gambhir made a change in the batting order and Prerak Mankad played a match-winning innings.
After Rahul’s exit, it was believed that the Lucknow team would not make it to the playoffs, but the team’s mentor Gautam Gambhir had other plans. He changed the game by staying outside the field and also came inside the field when needed. He was also fined, but Gambhir instilled such spirit in the team that had lost its captain that it won the last three matches and reached the playoffs.
This season for Lucknow was not as spectacular as before. Lucknow got off to a great start by winning three out of the first four matches, but after that, the team derailed. Lucknow lost three out of the next five matches and captain Rahul was also injured along with the controversy in the match against RCB. The defeat in the controversial match lowered the morale of the players, but only after the match, Gambhir confronted Virat for his players. It was from here that the spirit of fighting in the team came.
Krunal became the captain after Rahul, but Gambhir did the job. He made frequent changes to the batting order and brought in players like Prerak Mankad who are capable of playing match-winning innings, but Gambhir made any changes to the team’s lower order, as that was what was winning matches for this team.