LSG's captaincy change explained: Why Nicholas Pooran replaced KL Rahul ahead of Punjab Kings game?

Langer used KL Rahul as an Impact Player due to a justifiable reason

LSG batter KL Rahul LSG batter KL Rahul plays a shot during the Indian Premier League match against Punjab Kings | PTI

KL Rahul was not the captain of Lucknow Super Giants when they walked out to face Punjab Kings at the Ekana Sports City on Saturday. It was Caribbean wicket-keeper batter Nicholas Pooran who led LSG during the second game of their ongoing season.

During the toss, everyone was surprised to see Pooran coming out representing the Lucknow Super Giants. According to reports, this was because head coach Justin Langer decided to use KL Rahul as the 'Impact Player' and asked Pooran to take up additional leadership responsibility.

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

Why KL Rahul have to make the sacrifice?

While the 'Impact Player' rule came into existence from last season, the league has hardly seen any captain being named one. It is also noteworthy 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. In case the team needs the service of another specialist bowler, Rahul will have to be replaced. Marcus Stoinis, Ayush Badoni and Krunal Pandya can all bowl while Quinton De Kock stands behind the stumps. Both Nicholas Pooran and Devdutt Padikkal are brilliant fielders when compared to Rahul, further justifying Langer's call.

Rahul is playing the initial games of the season as a "pure batter" due to fitness concerns and thus can't take the gloves from De Kock either. 

No scope for rumours

The decision by Langer isonly to make optimum use of the available resources., LSG sources have asserted. "KL is absolutely fit and remains very much in charge. It is a decision taken by coach," a source reportedly told news agency PTI.


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