Keshav Bansal owned Intex Technologies’ Gujarat Lions led by captain Suresh Raina will be making their Indian premier League debut when they face David Miller led Kings XI Punjab in the ongoing VIVO Indian Premier League 2016, at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali on 11th April, 2016.
Gujarat Lions will be based in Rajkot and Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium will be their home ground. Australia’s Brad Hodge has been appointed as the head coach of Gujarat Lions while Shitanshu Kotak has been selected as the assistant coach and Zimbabwe’s Heath Streak has been hired as the bowling coach. GL have opted to include experienced cricketers as their staff to motivate and inspire the team and their presence and influence will strengthen the squad. The staff and management will remain hopeful ahead of their opening encounter against the Kings XI Punjab who are considered to be one of the serious title contenders.
The Gujarat Lions who will be led by swashbuckling cricketer Suresh Raina boasts a strong team on paper with the likes of Brendon McCullum, James Faulkner, Dwayne Bravo, Aaron Finch, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik. They have successfully forged a reliable core team and have also included exciting youngsters like Ishan Kishan and Eklayva Dwivedi to bolster their overall squad. The Rajkot franchise is certainly roaring to go and will be keen on performing to prove their credentials, having blended experience with youth they are certainly one of the darkhorses in the ongoing in the cricketing extravaganza.
Suresh Raina must be optimistic going into the competition but must carry a calm demeanour to bring out the leader in him. The 29-year-old will be benefitted from having influential individuals around him to spur him on, but this opportunity will also be a chance for him to step out of the shadows which have had engulfed him over the years. GL will also benefit from having Ravindra Jadeja in the team as he is from Gujarat, the local boy will bring in a lot of home support. Moreover, the duo were teammates in the now banned IPL outfit Chennai Super Kings, and thus will be having each other’s backs if and when necessary.
Gujarat Lions owners have certainly invested enough to establish the necessary firepower needed to challenge the veteran IPL outfits, but the foreign players whom they have recruited will have to be aided by the domestic talent they have at their disposal to achieve their desired success.