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IPL 2024: Why Pooran replaced Rahul as LSG captain vs Punjab

March 30, 2024 23:48 IST

IMAGE: K L Rahul, who played as the Impact Player for LSG, could manage just 15 against Punjab Kings. Photograph: BCCI

Lucknow Super Giants head coach Justin Langer was the brain behind making K L Rahul the 'Impact Player' and Nicholas Pooran taking over the captaincy for their IPL 2024 match against Punjab Kings in Lucknow on Saturday.


While the 'Impact Player' rule came into existence from last season, IPL has never seen a captain being named one.

Everyone was surprised to see Pooran coming out for to the toss in place of Rahul for the match against Punjab Kings' Shikhar Dhawan.

"K L is coming back from injury and we are looking to give him a break in such a long tournament, but he will play as an impact player today. Everyone must take the opportunities and perform at their best," Pooran said at the toss.

IMAGE: Nicholas Pooran captained Lucknow Super Giants against Punjab Kings. Photograph: BCCI

Rahul, who missed four Tests against England due to a quadriceps injury, was declared fit by the National Cricket Academy before the start of IPL 2024, and the LSG skipper opened. He kept wickets in their first match against Rajasthan Royals.

However, sources tracking the development at LSG explained the rationale behind the decision.

"K L is absolutely fit and remains very much in charge. It is a decision taken by coach," the source said.

It is understood that on days when LSG bat first, Rahul could be the only player in the top order, who could be replaced in order to bring in a bowler.

Marcus Stoinis, Ayush Badoni and Krunal Pandya can all bowl while Quinton De Kock can keep. Nicholas Pooran is a brilliant outfielder and Devdutt Padikkal is also an above average fielder.

In matches in which LSG bat first, the use of a specialist bowler-pacer or spinner can only happen if Rahul is replaced. That explains the decision by Langer, who is looking to make optimum use of the available resources.

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