Gujarat Lions made an impressive start to their debut IPL campaign, finishing as the table toppers, before losing to runners-up Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the Qualifier 1 and to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Qualifier 2.
Last Season's finish: Playoffs
Barring a dry spell in between, where they lost three consecutive matches, Gujarat Lions posed a real threat. Led by Suresh Raina, the batting lineup was bolstered by the likes of Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, and wicketkeeper-batsman, Dinesh Karthik. They had specialist t20 all-rounders in James Faulkner, Dwayne Bravo, and Ravindra Jadeja. The bowling line-up constituted the likes of Praveen Kumar and Australia's Andrew Tye.
Players Bought in 2017 IPL auction – 8
During the auction for the tenth season of the Indian Premier League, Gujarat looked to add more bowlers to their arsenal. As a result, they brought Indian outcast pacers, Manpreet Gony and Munaf Patel. Young Kerala pacer, Basil Thampi was roped in by the franchise. They also brought in a lesser known spinner, Tejas Baroka who represented the Delhi U19 team.
— The Gujarat Lions (@TheGujaratLions) February 20, 2017
Jason Roy, who is known for his swashbuckling style of play was also roped in. To be honest, a few eyebrows were raised when the English opener went unsold in the first round of the auction, but Gujarat Lions roped in the attacking batsman. They also added in a few young talents in the form of Shelley Shaurya, Shubham Agarwal and also brought back Akshdeep Nath.
Team Strength/Weakness and Chances in IPL 10
The side looks balanced, though their bowling could've been stronger had they roped in pacers like Trent Boult or Kagiso Rabada. The side has a blend of young blood along with vastly experienced campaigners. Their batting looks very strong on paper, having 4 openers in their side. Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja are top class T20 all-rounders and having both of them in the squad will give Suresh Raina a lot of opportunities.
Best Playing XI:
Jason Roy, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, James Faulkner, Shivil Kaushik, Praveen Kumar, Basil Thampi and Nathu Singh.
Image credits: @TOISports