Cricket

IPL 2017: Guj Lions’ squad analyzed! Can the big names help bring the cup home?

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.

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

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