Gujarat Lions are one of the two new entrants in this year's IPL. Photo Courtesy: @ImRainaTeam (via Twitter)
Gujarat Lions are one of the two new entrants in this year’s IPL. Photo Courtesy: @ImRainaTeam (via Twitter)

One of the two new entrants in IPL 2016, Gujarat Lions will look to have a successful first season. While other teams are already established and had the luxury of a settled team, Lions had to build from scratch. It will be foolish though, to write them off though. Their squad is more than capable and they have got more than a few match winners within them. Their skipper, Suresh Raina, had played every single IPL game for CSK during the past eight seasons. They also have a great bunch of International stars in Dwayne Bravo, James Faulkner and Aaron Finch to name few. While it may take them time to gel up, their squad has got more than decent strength. ALSO READ: Gujarat Lions team in IPL 2016 Preview: Suresh Raina-led lions aim for guttural roar of triumph in IPL 9

In the batting department, they can proudly boast of Aaron Finch, the No.2 batsman in ICC T20 Rankings. Finch is one of the most deadliest openers in the world cricket, and Lions can use his experience up the top. Not to forget, they also have Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum and the captain Suresh Raina. All these three players were team-mates at CSK, and expect a strong showing from these stalwarts. All the above four batsmen are devastating, and they will be shouldering the responsibility for runs. ALSO READ: IPL 2016: Virender Sehwag’s leadership admirable, says Suresh Raina

The Lions can boast of the best bowling all-rounders in their side. And well, having Dwayne Bravo, James Faulkner and Ravindra Jadeja, they have every reason to be confident. While all of these players can contribute with the bat big time, its their bowling which has made them famous. Bravo’s off cutters, Faulkner’s back of the end slower ball and Jadeja’s quicker one, all are one of the best deliveries in their own rights. While it will be very tempting for Lions to play all 3, expect either of Bravo or Faulkner to miss out on games due to 4 international starter’s rule. ALSO READ: Gujarat Lions have match-winners in Dwayne Bravo and Brendon McCullum, says Suresh Raina

While Lions can’t boast of the best bowling unit of all sides, they do have a formidable line-up. And well, any side having Dale Steyn will consider themselves having upper hand. While Steyn’s show in T20 World Cup was poor, it would require a big time fool to doubt what he can do. He will be supported by Praveen Kumar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Pravin Tambe and Andrew Tye, who are all good in their own ways. Definitely not the best bowling unit minus Steyn.

SCHEDULE:

DATE MATCH NO MATCHES VENUE
11.4.16 Match No.3 Kings XI Punjab vs Gujarat Lions Mohali
14.4.16 Match No.6 Gujarat Lions vs Rising Pune Supergiants Rajkot
16.4.16 Match No.9 Mumbai Indians vs Gujarat Lions Mumbai
21.4.16 Match No.15 Gujarat Lions vs Sunrisers Hyderabad Rajkot
24.4.16 Match No.19 Gujarat Lions vs Royal Challengers Bangalore Rajkot
27.4.16 Match No.23 Delhi Daredevils vs Gujarat Lions Delhi
29.4.16 Match No.25 Rising Pune Supergiants vs Gujarat Lions Pune
1.5.16 Match No.28 Gujarat Lions vs Kings XI Punjab Rajkot
3.5.16 Match No.31 Gujarat Lions vs Delhi Daredevils Rajkot
6.5.16 Match No.34 Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Gujarat Lions Hyderabad
8.5.16 Match No.38 Kolkata Knight Riders vs Gujarat Lions Kolkata
14.5.16 Match No.44 Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Gujarat Lions Bengaluru
19.5.16 Match No.51 Gujarat Lions vs Kolkata Knight Riders Rajkot/Kanpur
21.5.16 Match No.54 Gujarat Lions vs Mumbai Indians Rajkot/Kanpur

Gujarat Lions Squad: Suresh Raina(c), Sarabjit Ladda, Akshdeep Nath, Amit Mishra, Dwayne Bravo, Paras Dogra, Eklavya Dwivedi, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Shadab Jakati, Dinesh Karthik, Shivil Kaushik, Dhawal Kulkarni, Praveen Kumar, Brendon McCullum, Pradeep Sangwan, Jaydev Shah, Umang Sharma, Dwayne Smith, Dale Steyn, Pravin Tambe, Andrew Tye