“It’s a no-brainer when it comes to KL Rahul”

Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir is set to serve as the mentor of the Lucknow franchise in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League.

The 40-year-old recently said that it was a ‘no-brainer’ to rope in star batter KL Rahul ahead of the impending IPL 2022 auction. The Indian batter will captain the Lucknow team in their first-ever season and will be paid INR 17 crore for his services.

Speaking on Star Sports, the ex-cricketer highlighted Rahul’s exemplary performances in recent editions of the cash-rich league. He pointed out that Rahul can contribute in a variety of ways, including keeping the wickets. Gambhir opined that apart from being a top batter, Rahul’s ability to lead makes him a valuable proposition. He said:

“It’s a no-brainer when it comes to KL Rahul, not just as a batter but as a leader as well. Obviously, it’s a work in progress but he gives you three things – he opens the batting, he can keep wickets and he is a phenomenal white-ball batter.”

He added:

“His consistency and his run-scoring has been phenomenal when he has played for Punjab and other franchises.”

Lucknow have also signed dynamic Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and India’s 21-year-old leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi as their other two picks for the latest edition of India’s flagship T20 competition.

“Ravi Bishnoi is one of the most exciting prospects at the moment” – Gautam Gambhir

The cricketer-turned-politician also said that the franchise picked uncapped spinner Ravi Bishnoi for his wicket-taking abilities. Gambhir reckons the talented youngster is only going to get better with time. He said:

“Ravi Bishnoi, for me, is one of the most exciting prospects at the moment, plus he was uncapped. He is only going to get better and at the moment we have seen what kind of skills he brings to the table. He is a complete wicket-taking option.”

Gambhir also stated hailed Marcus Stoinis as a finisher. He opined that there were not a lot of all-rounders to choose from, which is why Lucknow went for the Aussie star. He added:

“We were not 100 percent sure whether Ben Stokes was going to be in the auction or not, so there weren’t too many quality all-rounders. Plus Stoinis can bat in the middle order and can finish off the game as well.”

The much-awaited IPL 2022 auction is scheduled to take place in Bangalore next month. Lucknow have named Andy Flower as their head coach while Gautam Gambhir will be the mentor for the side.