On Monday, BCCI finalized the sale of the two new IPL franchises. The RPSG Group, which had previously owned the Rising Pune Supergiants squad in the competition, won the bid for the Lucknow franchise at INR 7090 crores. In this article, we take a look at five former Rising Pune Supergiants players whom the new Lucknow franchise can target for IPL 2022.
Having already been part of the competition in 2016 and 2017, the RPSG group are aware of the nuances of building an IPL squad. In fact, in 2017, the franchise had reached the finals of the competition. A few players from that squad are still active in the league. Apart from the aim to build a good squad, the RPSG group could also target a few players formerly on their payroll to continue their association with the brand.
1) Steve Smith
Steve Smith is one of the former Rising Pune Supergiants players whom the new Lucknow franchise can target for IPL 2022. Back then, the management had appointed the Aussie as the captain of the team despite having MS Dhoni in the squad. Steve Smith had delivered, taking the team to the finals. He also scored 742 runs in 23 games for the franchise.
Considering the above factors and also the fact that he could be easily available, Smith might be one of the targets for the new team. It is also said that he enjoys a good relationship with the owners. This could lead to yet another collaboration for the Aussie and the RPSG Group.
2) R Ashwin
R Ashwin played only one season for RPS, in which he collected ten wickets. The Tamil Nadu spinner recently made a comeback to the Indian T20I Team. His performance in IPL in recent years has anyways been decent.
In Ashwin, the new team can get an experienced IPL player, who can also captain the franchise if needed. Ashwin also has a good fanbase and the Lucknow franchise can get access to this if they sign him. The player is likely to feature in the auctions since Delhi Capitals may not retain him. Hence, the new team can hire him.
3) Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane was the highest run-scorer for Rising Pune Supergiants, accumulating 862 runs in 30 games at an average of 33.15. Rahane has not played a lot of IPL cricket in recent seasons. However, he is likely to get a solid role from IPL 2022, considering there are two more teams in the fray.
Rahane can still offer plenty of value as an opener. He is experienced and can help the youngsters in the XI. On days when he gets going, it could be hard for the opposition to get him out. He can also be a captaincy option and hence, the Lucknow team can target him.
4) Rahul Tripathi
Rahul Tripathi is one of the former Rising Pune Supergiants players whom the new Lucknow franchise can target for IPL 2022. In the last two seasons, Rahul’s popularity as a T20 cricketer has increased by a mile.
He actually had his breakthrough season while playing for RPS. Tripathi will be a good opening option for any franchise, and him being fearless is an added bonus. Tripathi is also an excellent fielder, as seen in the recently concluded season.
5) Deepak Chahar
Deepak Chahar did not do extraordinarily well when he turned up for RPS. However, he is an established cricketer now and the Lucknow franchise would want a player in his mould.
CSK might not afford to retain him due to other options. Hence, the RPSG Group can try to sign Deepak so that they would have a good powerplay bowler for the next few seasons. Deepak is also experienced enough to lead the pace attack for the franchise.