IPL-9: Gujarat Lions look a formidable and balanced side

As a new team from Rajkot, Gujarat Lions, haven’t put a foot wrong since their inception. Having dug their claws deep, the lions have already made their mark by winning some very important matches this season.  After the draft where the team, which is owned by Keshav Bansal -- Director of Intex Technologies, an Indian consumer durables company -- picked better players, have now gone on to pick a very formidable and balanced side covering all bases. In Dwayne Smith, Aaron Finch, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, they have an intimidating batting cast. They have also procured youngsters like Ishan Kishan and Eklavya Dwivedi who’d like to make a name for themselves this IPL.

What has been the best part about Gujarat Lions’ auction strategy, though, is their choice of bowlers; Dale Steyn, Praveen Kumar, Dhawal Kulkarni all are quality fast bowlers, add to that Andrew Tye, who has had a brilliant big bash league, at the back of which he earned an Australia call-up for the recently concluded T20s vs India.

They have also got a couple of underrated yet, talented players such as Praveen Tambe, Pradeep Sangwan and Shadab Jakati to back their frontline players up. Lions at their disposal also have the most experienced T20 batsman Brad Hodge as their coach who knows the IPL format in & out. Hodge had been a superb performer himself during his playing days in the IPL and has seen how the league functions and knows the essentials for success in the IPL. He has former Zimbabwe skipper Heath Streak for a company who will take care of the bowling department of the team.

It will be suffice to say that in its first year itself, Gujarat Lions mean business. They have one of the most talented bunch of players and although they are sailing aboard the sinking ship now, it will still be exciting to know how far they go and how soon can they bounce back.

Having begun on the 8th of April and running all the way to the 29th of May, the IPL season 9 has taken the summer television space by storm. Known for combining the exact right amount of glamor, entertainment, rip-offs and of course cricket, the Indian Premier Leagues have always been on the must-watch list of every cricket lover in the country. A whopping one hundred and thirty-six crores INR is riding on the players this season. With this kind of money and the glamor attached to the event, the IPL hopes to keep the loyal cricket fans glued to the seats until the very end.