Impressing everyone by topping the group stages, Gujarat Lions crashed out of the tournament by losing the Qualifer 2 against Sunrisers Hyderabad © AFP
Impressing everyone by topping the group stages, Gujarat Lions crashed out of the tournament by losing the Qualifier 2 against Sunrisers Hyderabad © AFP

With Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) being scrapped off for spot-fixing scandal, two new teams were introduced by Board of Control of Cricket for India (BCCI) earlier this year. Gujarat Lions (GL) and Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) came into the fore. While RPS failed to rise after a good outing in their first match, Gujarat Lions topped the tables to reach the playoffs of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016. They lost Qualifier 1 when they had the match in their grasp. Similar script awaited them when they played the Qualifiers 2 at Ferozshah Kotla, New Delhi on Friday (May 27 th). Here is a look at the report card of GL players in their maiden IPL after they bowed out of the tournament losing to Sunrisers Hyderabad by 4 wickets: FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Gujarat Lions vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2016, Qualifier 2 at Delhi

Suresh Raina (5.5 out of 10): Leading a side for the first team in a whole tournament, Suresh Raina, surely showed he has raised from the shadow of India’s limited-overs skipper, MS Dhoni. He led the side well and remained calm and composed as skipper. He scored a few vital fifties in must win matches against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Mumbai Indians (MI). He did not look anywhere close to his usual best in IPL but still finished with 399 runs in 15 matches. He impressed with his captaincy rather than batting.

Brendon McCullum (4 out of 10): Former New Zealand skipper, Brendon McCullum, never got going in this year’s IPL and probably GL missed his impactful innings. He scored two fifties in the middle of the season but never looked at ease at the crease. He always looked rusty while batting for GL. Against SRH in Qualifier 2, he scored 32 runs off 29 balls but could not take his team to a big total. He was on and off throughout the tournament for his new franchise with a below standard average of 22.12.

Dwayne Smith (6.5 out of 10): The West Indian used to play for CSK and has given them tremendous starts in the previous editions. This year he did not contribute much as an opener. He was tried in the middle-order in the last few matches and scored a vital 73 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Qualifer 1. He rose to fame against Kolkata Knight Riders with his bowling as he ended up with figures of 4-0-8-4. After this match he was used while bowling and ended up taking 8 wickets. His all-round ability fetches him 6.5.

Aaron Finch (8 out of 10): The Australian opener contributed well for the Rajkot franchise. He could not open the innings but batted well for them in the middle-order. He took responsibility of their middle-order when they struggled against opponents. He scored five fifties with the last one being against Sunrisers Hyderabad where he made an unbeaten 50 off 32 balls. He looked in good touch and in control of his innings while batting. He started the tournament with consecutive fifties and carried the momentum in the entire tournament. Undoubtedly, he was their best batsman. An average of 39.92 in a 20-over format is surely worth praising.

Ravindra Jadeja (3.5 out of 10): The Indian all-rounder failed to live up to the expectations and did not contribute much with both bat and ball. He was only economical to say the least. He picked up mere 8 wickets from 15 matches and scored 191 runs at a below par 107 strike-rate. Had Jadeja lifted his game and performed like an all-rounder, Lions would have won more games this season.

Dhawal Kulkarni (8.5 out of 10): Dhawal Kulkarni was Lions’ stand out bowler. He bowled in good areas and controlled the opponents’ innings whenever he started the bowling for his side. He was disciplined and bowled wicket to wicket. He took 18 wickets and ended as the fourth highest wicket taker in IPL 2016. His economy was 7.42 which shows he impressed against some of the biggest hitters in international cricket. He was impressive against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and other matches in Qualifier 1 and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the group stages, to name a few. Not picking any wicket for his side in their last encounter cost Gujarat Lions the game.

Praveen Kumar (6 out of 10): Praveen Kumar played for Gujarat Lions in every single match. He opened their bowling attack along with Dhawal Kulkarni and bowled economically. He picked 9 scalps from 16 games but his street smart bowling earned him praises. His spell against Delhi Daredevils (DD) in the group stage match when his team needed 18 runs to defend from 12 balls was amazing. He outclassed Chris Morris who was going bonkers till that time but was bamboozled by Kumar’s slower ones and variations. He outdid batsmen with his change in pace but still was not lucky enough to fetch more wickets.

Pravin Tambe (3 out of 10): The 44-year-old could not repeat his success he enjoyed with Rajasthan Royals. He played only 7 matches and picked up 5 wickets at an average of 8.93. Batsmen have slowly picked his turn and it was evident from his performance in this edition’s IPL. His future looks a little uncertain with a below par show.

Shivil Kaushik (4.5 out of 10): The left-arm spinner with an unusual action got the limelight in the matches he played for GL. He took 6 wickets in 7 matches at an economy of 8.93. He was a bit expensive but had his moments in a few games. His best figures of 4-0-20-3 came against Kings XI Punjab and he troubled a few reputed players because of mysterious action.

Shadab Jhakati (2 out of 10): The former CSK player had a below average campaign in IPL 2016. He was not a regular in the side and played only 6 matches to pick just 2 wickets. He was not very economical with the ball as well.

James Faulkner (3 out of 10): The Aussie all-rounder was not in his best with the new franchise. He played 7 matches, mostly featuring in the start of the tournament, but picked up only a couple of wickets and an expensive economy rate.

Dinesh Karthik (6 out of 10): The flamboyant wicket-keeper has played for a lot of franchises. He did perform decently for GL with three fifties and compiled 335 runs at an average of 25.76. He was reasonable with his keeping skills. He could have performed better had he not thrown his wickets at important intervals like he normally does. He looked good from start in almost every innings but got out after getting starts. His best score of 53 came against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.

Sarabjit Ladda (1 out of 10): He featured in only one match and was expensive with an economy of 10.50.

Pradeep Sangwan (1 out of 10): Pradeep Sangwan was equally unimpressive with the two matches that he got for his side. He was more expensive with an economy of 12.25.

Dale Steyn (2 out of 10): The South Africa spearhead only featured in one game against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the group stage match. He did not look his usual best and ended up being slightly expensive with an economy of 8.5. Though he was coming out from injury and played a single game, he cannot be judged for his performance. The marks are only on the basis of a single match wherein he was included.

Ishan Kishan (2.5 out of 10): The U-19 team captain was out of sorts and played 5 games for GL. He did not get adequate time and opportunity at the crease and made only 42 runs with 27 being his highest against Kings XI Punjab at Rajkot. Getting to play IPL at such a young age and being among international players must have taught him a lot and added to his confidence.

Eklavya Dwivedi (3 out of 10): Eklavya Dwivedi started as a middle-order batsman in GL’s lineup but was promoted as an opener in their last match against SRH in Qualifier 2. He failed ti make much impact in the limited chances he got with a high score of 19.

Akshdeep Nath (1 out of 10): Akshdeep Nath played four matches and hardly made runs and also did not pick a single wicket.

There were other players in the squad as well who were not picked for any matches. Paras Dogra, Jaydev Yadav, Umesh Sharma and Australian all-rounder, Andrew Tye were in their squad but did not make it to the playing XI for once. Giving more chances to James Faulkner could have worked for the Lions and too much shuffling within their batting order cost them at a few junctures. Overall, as a team they clicked well but a few more players had to raise their hands in vital situations.

(Aditya Sahay is a journalist with CricketCountry who is completely into sports and loves writing about cricket in general. He can be followed on Twitter at adisahay7)