IPL 2024: Quinton will open, Padikkal at No 3, says LSG coach

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | March 30, 2024 IST

Quinton de Kock

Lucknow, March 30: Justin Langer, the head coach of Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), has stressed on advantage provided by home conditions as they eye their first win of the Indian Premier League (IPL) season 2024 with a dominant bowling attack against the Punjab Kings (PBKS) in Match 11 at Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium here on Saturday.

Rajasthan Royals (RR) defeated LSG by 20 runs in the fourth match of the IPL on March 24. Electing to bat first, the Royals stormed to a competitive 193/4 in their 20 overs thanks to a 93-run partnership between skipper Sanju Samson and Riyan Parag. They came back strongly to restrict Lucknow Super Giants to 173/6 to start their IPL 2024 campaign on a winning note.

Langer reflected on LSG's first match, acknowledging the importance of shaking off initial rust and fostering camaraderie among players and support staff. With a renewed focus, LSG aim to establish their home ground as a dominant fortress, setting the stage for a successful campaign.

Amidst discussions of home-ground advantage, Langer underscored the team's determination to capitalise on playing in familiar territory. With an unbeaten streak for home teams till Kolkata Knight Riders got the better of Royal Challengers Bengaluru on Friday in an away clash, the LSG seek to harness the energy of their supporters and translate it into victories on the field.

“I think most games have been won at a home ground so far in this IPL. Everyone's always looking for home game advantage and the only way we can earn that is by winning here. So we'll be looking to win, we're going there every game looking to win and hopefully we can start that off tomorrow night.

"So, I will also say the home-ground advantage is very important. To be playing well at home in front of your home crowds for a lot of reasons in any tournament around the world, it is very important and it's no different for LSG,” said Langer in the press conference on the eve of the match against PBKS.

“What I understand is, last year the grass was very patchy, so therefore when the grass is patchy, it's difficult to have even wickets. But if you look out there now, there is so much beautiful green grass on the ground and the wicket. So real credit to the groundsman. They've worked so hard to make it look so different than it did this time last year. So, we're very hopeful it's gonna be a good pitch to play on," he said.

"It's a beautiful stadium. So, therefore, our fielding is going to be very important, and we've got a very athletic fielding team. And running between the wickets is gonna be very important. And obviously, our power-hitting, but those two little areas, which I've always believed are important evening and running between the wickets, particularly on a big ground like this, are gonna be paramount to our success,” he added.

Delving into pitch analysis and on being asked about West Indies bowling sensation Shamar Joseph's inclusion in the XI Langer delved into the team's approach to adaptability, weighing the balance between spin and pace bowling strategies. With a keen eye on player performance, particularly standout bowlers like Naveen-ul-Haq, LSG remains poised to exploit favourable pitch conditions for optimal results.

“We're going to look at that. We'll look at the pitch tonight and tomorrow and see if it's going to favour spin or pace bowling. Traditionally we've gone with the three international batter and the one international bowler. And it's been reasonably successful for us. So, we'll keep looking at that. I think Naveen-Ul-Haq bowled very well, the other day we're expecting him to bowl well again tomorrow. So, Shamar Joseph might not feature in the next game, I love his spirit. I love his athleticism. I love the way he plays the game, but he's still young to the game, so he's working very hard to push for selection. I don't think he'll play tomorrow night, though,” said Langer.

Skipper K.L. Rahul played a valiant knock of 58 runs in 44 deliveries in the chase of 194 against Rajasthan Royals. However, it too drew a lot of criticism from cricket experts across the world over the strike rate after LSG lost the game.

Langer expresses unwavering confidence in captain Rahul, praising his exceptional talent and leadership qualities. While acknowledging Rahul's pivotal role in the team's success, Langer also highlighted the depth provided by players like Quinton de Kock and emerging talent Devdutt Padikkal.

“You can't just take your eyes off from K.L. Rahul’s batting. He plays with such beauty. He is an exceptional athlete. He's been so successful for India for a reason, and I feel blessed to have him in our team. He's not only a wicket-keeper batter but he's also such a composed leader. He is an amazing individual too. People discuss strike rate and average things to me, but I don’t feel there is any concern regarding that. Sooner or later, he will come up with a knock that will impress everyone without any criticism," Langer said.

“Devdutt Padikkal is an exceptional player. He just made his Test debut and we all saw what he is capable of with the bat, but we need to understand that we have Quinton de Kock too, who is a world-class player and can destroy the opposition and he can really set up games for us. So, there is no comparison between Padikkal and de Kock, but we would like to stick with de Kock as our opening batter option. Moreover, we as a team need batting depth, and Padikkal batting at Number three provides that,” he added.

Sharing his sentiments on coaching in the IPL, Langer exuded enthusiasm for the vibrant cricketing atmosphere and the hospitality extended by the LSG family and Indian cricketing community. Despite a setback in the first match, Langer remained resolute in his commitment to guiding LSG towards glory in the upcoming weeks.

“Honestly, there is nothing I haven't loved about it so far. Everyone at the LSG's been so hospitable. Everyone in India has been hospitable. I love being in India, but I experience every night watching this incredible cricket on television and seeing all this talent, and then to be able to be a part of this, I feel really privileged to be a part of the IPL. I feel very privileged to be part of the LSG family and the team. So far, despite not winning the first game, my experience has been brilliant. I've loved every minute of it and I'm sure that will continue for the next eight weeks,” the former Australia men's team coach said.

As LSG navigate the challenges and opportunities of IPL 2024, Langer's insights offer a glimpse into the team's quest for redemption and success. With a blend of strategic acumen, player talent, and unwavering determination, LSG endeavor to carve out a memorable chapter in their IPL journey, fueled by the passion of their fans and the vision of their coach. (IANS)

    Tags
  • Indian Premier League (IPL)
  • K L Rahul
  • Justin Langer
  • Quinton de Kock
  • Punjab Kings
  • Punjab Kings
  • IPL 2024
  • Devdutt Padikkal

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