"We have more options, particularly in the bowling department, which we didn't have last time and had to depend on couple of bowlers," Sitanshu Kotak said    AFP ()File Photo)
“We have more options, particularly in the bowling department, which we didn’t have last time and had to depend on couple of bowlers,” Sitanshu Kotak said AFP ()File Photo)

Rajkot: Gujarat Lions (GL) assistant coach Sitanshu Kotak on Friday said the present IPL 2017 team is much more balanced as compared to the 2016’s squad. “I think we have a much balanced side as compared to our last year’s squad,” Kotak, who is in charge of Gujarat Lions’ practice session till the arrival of head coach Brad Hodge, said. “We have more options, particularly in the bowling department, which we didn’t have last time and had to depend on couple of bowlers,” he said. “Our bowling was a bit weak last year and we had to depend on a couple of seam bowlers throughout the season because of not having much options. But this time, the inclusion of two experienced bowlers like Munaf Patel and Manpreet Gony and two young bowlers- Basil Thampi and Nathu Singh- has put us in a position to change the bowling combination as per the conditions,” he said. Gujarat Lions in IPL 2017 Preview: Will Raina-led team go the distance in IPL 10?

According to Kotak, the team has plenty of options, particularly in the batting department as it has openers like Brandon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, Jason Roy and Aaron Finch. “Who will open will be decided by the team management once the head coach Brad Hodge joins the team, but we have a very strong batting line up. Suresh Raina has always been a good and top-ranked batsman in the shortest format of the game,” he said. Gujarat Lions (GL) in IPL 2017 schedule: Team and squad details, match time table and venues

Dinesh Karthik is in good form scoring century in Deodhar trophy final, while Ravindra Jadeja too is in good form and useful in all the three departments, Kotak said. “In the spin bowling department, we have two leg spinners- Tejas Barokha and Subham Agarwal. So I think overall we have options in every department and can choose the eleven according to the conditions”, he said.

Gujarat Lions will play their first match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on April 7. The Lions had won their two matches against the KKR last time and Kotak felt that last year’s performance will help the team to have the upper hand while playing against the KKR.