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Gujarat Lions Set for Grand Debut

Having witnessed all of 6 international matches over a decade, Rajkot is now set to become a hotbed for IPL action as home of the brand new Gujarat Lions – led by Suresh Raina and coached by Brad Hodge & Heath Streak.

McCULLUM & RAINA KEY FOR GUJARAT LIONS

He is the IPL’s most prolific run-getter, but this time more than ever Suresh Raina’s leadership skills with a relatively inexperienced unit of domestic players mixed with some international heavyweights comes to the fore.

Gayle & Kohli aside, Brendon McCullum is one of the most devastating T20 batsmen around, and having recently retired from international cricket – the Kiwi will be hungry for runs. With the likes of Aaron Finch and Raina set to make up the spine of the batting, a lot will depend on the top-order if the Lions have to taste success. Dinesh Karthik too will add experience to the ranks, with big-hitters Dwayne Bravo & James Faulkner too adding some punch to this line-up.

BRAVO & JADEJA SET TO LIGHT UP RAJKOT

Having tasted considerable success in the World T20, Dwayne Bravo could be one of the men to watch out for in IPL-9 with bat and ball in hand. The West Indies all-rounder is mighty effective bowling at the death, using variation as his key weapon. Meanwhile, Ravindra Jadeja too will be one of the local heroes to watch out for, capable of turning a game with his big hitting and off-spin.

James Faulkner too is one of the prized all-rounders that the Rajkot unit scalped during the auction, with captain of the India under-19 team Ishan Kishan and Amit Mishra adding the exuberance of youth to this side.

STEYN GUN TO LEAD BOWLING ATTACK FOR GUJARAT LIONS

Heath Streak worked wonders for the Bangladesh team over the last 2 years as bowling coach, and now will look to Dale Steyn to execute his plan and lead the Lions from the bowling front. Former Indian pacer Praveen Kumar too will look to share the load, with the likes Shadab Jakati, Pravin Tambe and Dhawal Kulkarni as slow bowling options.

The Lions are ready to roar and set Rajkot alight, and it remains to be seen whether this brand new outfit belong to the big league.

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