Gujarat Lions finished second from bottom of the table    BCCI
Gujarat Lions finished second from bottom of the table BCCI

Unless BCCI decides to make the Indian Premier League (IPL) a 10-team tournament from the next year, the last of Gujarat Lions (GL) has been seen. A journey that began with unprecedented heights of the team topping the points table on its debut had a tame end, finishing at the bottom in the next season. Gujarat Lions ended IPL 2017 at the second last spot among the eight competing teams, winning a mere 4 matches out of 14 and losing the rest. While injuries to key players throughout the tournament remains one of the main reasons for their flop show, but Gujarat Lions have no one but themselves to blame for the underperformance as well. IPL 2017: Raina reasons lack of experienced bowlers behind poor show

IPL 10 auction: A six-month layoff for Dale Steyn did not look threatening to the Gujarat Lions, who had a balanced bowling line-up, and also brought Munaf Patel back from obscurity to play IPL once again. Basil Thampi and Nathu Singh were among the notable additions, and Gujarat Lions would be pleased to have got that right. The batting looked strong with some of the best in the business in Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, and Aaron Finch already in their ranks. The most noteworthy addition was in form of Jason Roy, who had a decent debut in IPL.

Injury: Or rather we can say injuries. Coming off an exhilarating Indian home season of 13 Tests in which he featured in each one of them, Ravindra Jadeja deservingly good some time off cricket, which coincided with the initial stages of IPL 10. The others in McCullum, hat-trick man Andrew Tye, Nathu, and Shivil Kaushik bowed out after featuring in a few matches, but the one who was missed sorely was Dwayne Bravo. The Caribbean all-rounder spent weeks hoping for recovery, which did not happen and he was declared ruled out late into the tournament.

Irfan Pathan and Ankit Soni were added along the way, but it made no difference to Gujarat s fortunes.

Performance in IPL 2017: With a mere 4 wins and 10 defeats, it can be asserted that Gujarat Lions simply underperformed in this IPL. Gujarat began the tournament with huge defeats against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). While KKR crushed Gujarat by 10 wickets, SRH handed out a 9-wicket thrashing. While Gujarat did bounce back in their third match, hammering Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) by 7 wickets, the Raina-led side lost the next two games to Mumbai Indians (MI) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Four defeats and one win in first five matches proved to be a lot to recover from.

Gujarat did well to force a tie in a game that looked lost against Mumbai Indians, but McCullum and Finch s failure to make 12 runs off 6 balls in the Super Over against Jasprit Bumrah proved to be one of the lowest points.

Gujarat Lions ended the tournament with defeats against Delhi Daredevils (DD) and Sunrisers Hyderabad at their second home ground, the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur.

In a forgettable tournament, there were a few things to cherish for. Tye s hat-trick on debut game and him registering the best bowling figures on IPL debut was certainly at the top.

Munaf returned to the tournament after a long gap of 1,426 days.

In one of the match, Finch had to sit out because his kit had not arrived at the stadium in time.

In their away game against Delhi Daredevils, Raina and Dinesh Karthik added an unbeaten 133 for the third wicket, which was the third highest partnership for any wicket this IPL.

Gujarat Lions could never attain any momentum. Their wins were sparse, as Gujarat Lions never won more than one match on the trot. Here is the table of Gujarat s results in all 14 matches this IPL:

Opposition Results Margin
Kolkata Knight Riders lost 10 wickets
Sunrisers Hyderabad lost 9 wickets
Rising Pune Supergiant won 7 wickets
Mumbai Indians lost 6 wickets
Royal Challengers Bangalore lost 21 runs
Kolkata Knight Riders won 4 wickets
Kings XI Punjab lost 26 runs
Royal Challengers Bangalore won 7 wickets
Mumbai Indians tied
Rising Pune Supergiant lost 5 wickets
Delhi Daredevils lost 7 wickets
Kings XI Punjab won 6 wickets
Delhi Daredevils lost 2 wickets
Sunrisers Hyderabad lost 8 wickets

With 399 runs last season, Raina had topped the charts of scoring most for Gujarat Lions on their debut. The IPL run-machine continued to fire on all cylinders this season as well, scoring the most runs and fifties. In fact, in 29 matches for Gujarat Lions, Raina has 841 runs at 33.64 with six fifties.

Batsman M R HS Ave SR 100s 50s
Suresh Raina 14 442 84 40.18 143.97 0 3
Dinesh Karthik 14 361 65 36.1 139.38 0 2
Brendon McCullum 11 319 72 29 147 0 2
Aaron Finch 13 299 72 24.91 166.11 0 2
Ishan Kishan 11 277 61 27.7 134.46 0 1
Dwayne Smith 12 239 74 21.72 153.2 0 2
Ravindra Jadeja 12 158 28 39.5 139.82 0 0
Jason Roy 3 59 31 29.5 147.5 0 0
James Faulkner 8 54 21 13.5 94.73 0 0
Andrew Tye 6 53 25 26.5 176.66 0 0

Among bowlers, Tye was the best with 12 wickets in six matches. The right-arm Australian pacer started late and even bowed out before the journey was over, but his performance in the debut match helped him top the charts. In the final over against Rising Pune Supergiant, Tye claimed a hat-trick and returned with the figures of 4-0-17-5. Here is the list of top five wicket-takers for Gujarat Lions:

Bowler M W Ave Econ SR Best
Andrew Tye 6 12 11.75 6.71 10.5 5 for 17
Basil Thampi 12 11 38.54 9.49 24.3 3 for 29
Praveen Kumar 6 6 25.16 9.15 16.5 2 for 22
James Faulkner 8 6 43 9.79 26.3 2 for 34
Pradeen Sangwan 5 5 36.2 10.05 21.6 2 for 38

Gujarat Lions posted totals in excess of 180 five times, but lost thrice. Two of these defeats came at the hands of Delhi Daredevils, who successfully chased down Gujarat Lions top two totals with ease.

Total Overs Opposition
208/7 20 vs Delhi Daredevils
195/5 20 vs Delhi Daredevils
192/4 19.4 vs Kings XI Punjab
192/7 20 vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
188/6 18.2 vs Kolkata Knight Riders
183/4 20 vs Kolkata Knight Riders

While the limelight remained on Sunrisers Hyderabad s Afghanistani cricketers in Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi, Gujarat Lions did not use their surprise package in Chirag Suri (UAE) at all.