'This tournament isn't about scoring 500-600 runs...': Gambhir makes massive statement on LSG's mammoth ₹16 crore bid
Gautam Gambhir didn't mince his words as he justified the LSG spending ₹16 crore on West Indies' Nicholas Pooran during the IPL auction last week.
The Indian Premier League auction for the 2023 edition took place last week, with multiple national and international stars going under the hammer. While England all-rounder Sam Curran became the most expensive player in auction history – fetching INR 18.50 crore from Punjab Kings – Ben Stokes was acquired by Chennai Super Kings for a mammoth INR 16.25 crore. However, one of the surprising big-money buys was that of Nicholas Pooran, who secured an INR 16 crore paycheck from Lucknow Super Giants.
While Pooran has, on many occasions, shown his calibre with explosive knocks for the West Indies and in multiple T20 leagues, his performances in the IPL have been underwhelming. In the previous season of the tournament – where he played for the Sunrisers Hyderabad – he played in all 14 matches for the side, but scored 306 runs with two half-centuries to his name. While he scored at a strike rate of 144.34, Pooran failed to guide the SRH to the playoffs stage as the franchise finished 8th in the table with eight losses.
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However, Super Giants' mentor Gautam Gambhir affirmed his faith on Pooran and justified spending the mammoth amount on the Windies wicketkeeper-batter.
“I don't look at the last season. I look at the player's ability and impact. This tournament is not about scoring 500-600 runs. That player can win you 2-3 matches in a season, and he has age on his side. If you can get such a player, you try your best to build your team around him,” Gambhir told JioCinema.
“I'm not only looking for this season, he also provides us longevity. Very less players in that age bracket (27-28) have that ability. Pooran will continue to get better as he plays. I always believe that records only make headlines but impact wins you the tournament.”
On being asked about the role he sees for Pooran, Gambhir said that the LSG invested in Pooran because the franchise was on a lookout for a finisher in its XI.
“Finisher. I can't tell you the XI. But we have Marcus Stoinis, Pooran, and Quinton de Kock. Moreover, we will now be having the impact player rule as well. We will make our XI in such a way that if we have to bring in a replacement, we can pick any of these players to bring into the match,” said Gambhir.