KL Rahul Set to Return Strong for LSG’s Opening Match: Willey Set to Miss Start of IPL 2024

The coach of LSG indicated that their captain KL Rahul who is making a comeback from a quadriceps injury, signaling a positive recovery from the injury that sidelined him during India’s final Test series against England, will be ready to face the Royals on Sunday.

Following India’s defeat in Hyderabad at the end of January, Rahul experienced soreness in his right quadriceps and has not played since. He traveled to London last month to see a specialist. He connected with the LSG team on Wednesday night, and Langer said he will be prepared for Sunday afternoon’s match against the Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur.

KL Rahul Set to Return Strong for LSG’s Opening Match: Willey Set to Miss Start of IPL 2024

In a virtual press conference on Wednesday, Langer stated, “KL was supposed to be here this afternoon to play in the practice game tonight, but unfortunately, he’s had a hold-up on the aeroplane.” He will likely arrive shortly after the start of play for the day because he will be at the ground later tonight.

“He’ll be with the boys and the team for the first time when he arrives. There is excitement among all to see him. We are aware that he put in a lot of effort to complete all of his return-to-play procedures. He’s put in a lot of work. He has been working on his skills and hitting a lot of balls. Hopefully, he’s prepared to depart. The captain’s presence will be appreciated.”

Though the off-season addition of Devdutt Padikkal raises the prospect that Rahul may drop from his normal opening place, Langer did not clarify where Rahul will bat this season. Rahul would also have the chance to argue for his inclusion in India’s middle order prior to the T20 World Cup in June if that change were to take place.

“I haven’t been coaching for two years since I left the Australian cricket team, and for two years I’ve been sleeping very well at night,” Langer joked. “It’s difficult to cram so much talent into 11 places these days, which makes it difficult to sleep at night. It’s a useful issue to have. We’ll figure it out, even if it’s a sweet problem. It’s good to have such a talented team.

“In my opinion, and I’ve probably been saying this for 25 years, everyone benefits when the team does well. Thus, in KL’s opinion, if he leads the Lucknow Super Giants to an IPL triumph, it indicates that he would have performed admirably both as a player and as a captain, as well as having excellent wicket-keeping skills.

“Everyone will benefit from team success. That will be the message for every player, including KL and Bishi [Ravi Bishnoi], as well as a few others who are competing for slots in the T20 World Cup. That’s all a part of our game. Their chances of being chosen will rise in direct proportion to how much they focus on performing well for Lucknow.”

This is Langer’s first IPL coaching assignment, and he claimed he is “blown away” by the quality he has witnessed during LSG’s preseason training. “I cannot believe the depth of talent in India,” he stated. “I’ve seen some players already, just in our franchise, [and] my mind is blown away by the amount of young talent in this country.”

Additionally, he stated that since the IPL concluded last year, he has been “all across” the substantial work that has been done on the pitches at LSG’s home stadium, Ekana Stadium. Only three teams scored more than 170 in the seven IPL 2023 matches held in Lucknow due to the pitches’ tendency to play slowly and low. However, Langer said that during the 50-over World Cup, there were indications of progress.

“We’ve worked so hard on the pitches here. I am fully aware of it. The water that enters the pitches has been altered. In addition, some of the soil has been altered. The pitches’ soil was altered at the conclusion of the previous season, and the World Cup saw some impressive outcomes. Here, they engaged in a few games. Some of the games had a lot of points. I believe the game between Australia and South Africa had a fairly high score.

This is where we’ve trained now. We’ve got two terrific training sessions on middle wickets, and last night we played a practice game under the lights. The pitches were very, very nice. We’re all really optimistic that we see outstanding proposals because they acknowledged that we needed to improve on the ones from the previous year. But based on what I’ve observed thus far, there’s nothing to be concerned about.”

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David Willey’s Absence at IPL 2024

For personal reasons, David Willey will not be available to play for the Lucknow Super Giants at the beginning of the 2024 Indian Premier League. The English left-arm seamer, who was signed at his base price of INR 2 crore (about £190,000) in December’s Dubai auction, was expected to play for LSG this year after spending the previous two IPL seasons with Royal Challengers Bangalore.

KL Rahul Set to Return Strong for LSG’s Opening Match: Willey Set to Miss Start of IPL 2024

The left-arm fast has been traveling and competing in the PSL and ILT20 for the past two months.

However, Willey won’t be ready for the season to begin, according to LSG’s new head coach Justin Langer, who made the announcement on Wednesday. Willey has been traveling for the past two months, playing for the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders in the ILT20 and the Multan Sultans in the PSL.

Willey is still on the roster and may go to India at some point during the competition. However, he spent the majority of the English winter away from home as he participated in the World Cup in India. He then came back to the UK to play in the PSL final on Monday.

After Mark Wood was sidelined by the ECB for the entire season in order to manage his workload ahead of the T20 World Cup, Willey is the second Englishman out of commission for the start of LSG’s season. Willey has not yet been replaced, but Shamar Joseph, a fast bowler from the West Indies, has taken Wood’s place.

When asked about LSG’s pace assault, Langer responded, “With Mark Wood pulling out of the tournament and also David Willey won’t be coming now either, that means we lack some experience.” However, I’ve also noticed in the past few days that we have a ton of talent. While a few of our players have sustained injuries, they all appear to be in excellent shape right now.

We simply need to control them well so that we can get them through and work through the entire tournament, not just the beginning. They appear healthy, fit, and really hungry. If needed, we may be able to add some experience to one international player we have up our sleeve.”

In addition, Langer mentioned Mayank Yadav, a seamer from Delhi who is 21 years old and a true fast bowler who may add some pace to the attack without Wood. Mark Wood is a bowler of the highest caliber, isn’t he? And after the sale, he withdrew, which is unfortunate, but that is the reality of the world we live in,” Langer remarked.

“We also have Mayank, who bowls at a very fast pace, and Shamar Joseph. Hopefully, Shamar Joseph and Mayank can replace Wood’s pace rather than his expertise. He’s a world-class bowler, so it goes without saying that he will be missed. However, we will adjust to his absence and be alright.

This week, LSG will travel to Jaipur in advance of their Sunday afternoon IPL 2024 opener against the Rajasthan Royals.

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