With the suspension of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals because of the spot-fixing scandal, two new teams Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiants were given the opportunity to pick five players each (from both these banned teams) in the pre-auction player draft. (IPL: KKR Proven Performers)
As a result, Gujarat acquired the services of Suresh Raina – who is also their new skipper. Along with Raina, they snapped up Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja and James Faulkner, all of whom will form the core of this unit. (IPL: Gujarat Lions Owner Keshav Bansal Happy With Team)
In the auctions too, Gujarat focused on buying impact players. Aaron Finch, Pravin Tambe, Dwayne Smith, Dale Steyn and Dhawal Kulkarni were the other big names to be snapped up. Looking at their auction performance, it would be fair to say that they did well in their maiden outing.
Gujarat have gotten six players from Uttar Pradesh, proving Raina’s influence in proceedings. After all, he was the captain of the Uttar Pradesh side that won the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy earlier in 2016 when they defeated Baroda by 38 runs in Mumbai.
The New Members:
– Dwayne Smith, who played for Deccan Chargers, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings in past seasons, was bought for 2.3 crores.
– Dale Steyn, who represented Royal Challengers Bangalore, Deccan Chargers and Sunrisers Hyderabad in past seasons, was also bought for 2.3 crores.
– Dinesh Karthik, who was a part of Royal Challengers Bangalore last year, was too bought for 2.3 crores.
– Dhawal Kulkarni, former Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals player, was bought for 2 crores.
– Praveen Kumar, who played for Sunrisers Hyderabad last season, was bought for 3.5 crores.
– Both Aaron Finch and Eklavya Dwivedi were bought for 1 crore each.
– Among the other players, Ishan Kishan was bought for 35 lakhs.
– Paras Dogra, Shivil Kaushik, Sarabjit Ladda, Umang Sharma, Akshdeep Nath and Amit Mishra were all bought for 10 lakh each.
– Andrew Tye was bought for 50 lakhs while Pradeep Sangwan, Pravin Tambe, Shadab Jakati and Jaydev Shah were all bought for 20 lakh each.
Head Coach – Brad Hodge
Assistant Coach – Shitanshu Kotak
Bowling Coach – Heath Streak
This will be Gujarat’s first IPL.
A strong top-order, two brilliant all-rounders in Bravo and Faulkner and a decent pace attack perfectly summarizes Gujarat Lions. They have the potential to go the distance but it’s their spin department that lacks force. Ravindra Jadeja is not in good form and Pravin Tambe is well short of practice as he played his last match in January this year. It will be interesting to see as to how Raina uses them when Gujarat defends a small total.