On Monday, BCCI closed the sale for the two new franchises in the Indian Premier League. Private equity firm CVC Capital won the bid for the Ahmedabad franchise at INR 5166Cr. In 2016 and 2017, Gujarat Lions was the franchise that represented the state. In this article, we take a look at five former Gujarat Lions players whom the new Ahmedabad franchise can target for IPL 2022.
For any new franchise, multiple checkboxes have to be ticked while setting up a squad. While the strength of the squad is the most important target, the franchise must inevitably focus on getting a few players who can draw sponsorships and supporters. Also, the future of the squad must be kept in mind while sitting at the auction table. One option could be to target a few good players who have already represented the state in the past in IPL.
1) Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina is one of the former Gujarat Lions players whom the new Ahmedabad franchise can target for IPL 2022. Although the form of the player is a concern, Raina is experienced and will add value to the new franchise. Most importantly, he could come cheap at the auctions since he is out of form and CSK is likely to release him.
For Gujarat Lions, Raina played 29 games and top-scored with 841 runs. He was also the captain of the franchise. In fact, CVC Capital could consider Raina as a captaincy option. He is only 34-years-old and has the enormous experience to do the job well.
2) Ishan Kishan
Ishan Kishan was a teenager when he played for GL in 2016 and 2017. However, since then, the Jharkhand cricketer has improved his skills and has even made his debut for Team India.
Depending on the retention policy, Kishan could either stay in Mumbai Indians or could be released. If he is available, the new franchise can target him. He is young, fearless, a wicket-keeper and is someone who has decent captaincy experience. All of this would help the team in the present and the future.
3) Dwayne Bravo
Dwayne Bravo is 38-years-old, and CSK might not retain him. However, Bravo is an intelligent bowler and could play for a year more, at least, in IPL. With the high-profile pacers likely to be retained by the existing franchises, the new teams could target someone like Bravo.
While he has the ability to lead the pace attack, Bravo at No.7 or No.8 is good enough for a T20 batting line-up. Most importantly, he brings experience to the table, something that he did recently in IPL 2021.
4) Dinesh Karthik
When Dinesh Karthik played for Gujarat Lions, he scored 696 runs in 30 games at an average of 30.26. His form, both with the bat and the gloves, might have diminished now, but he is still fit to play a few more years in IPL.
An experienced player is always an advantage in IPL. If the Ahmedabad franchise can manage to put a few established batsmen around DK, the Tamil Nadu man can be fearless, and that is when he becomes dangerous for the opposition. Hence, he is one of the former Gujarat Lions players whom the new Ahmedabad franchise can target for IPL 2022.
5) Jason Roy
Jason Roy played three games for Gujarat Lions. He recently represented Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2021. The English opener is a modern T20 cricketer and will be a good addition to the roster.
Roy knows only one way to bat, and more often than not, his approach comes off. That said, Roy is quite experienced in the format and has shown that he can construct big scores. If the top-bracket openers are unavailable, Roy can be a decent option for the Ahmedabad franchise.