- 'Every player faces this problem in their career, Raina is a matured cricketer and I don't think that he would be under pressure for leading a side first time in the IPL.'
Gujarat Lions owner Keshav Bansal expressed happiness that the new franchise managed to get 'experienced and talented' players for the upcoming ninth edition of the Indian Premier League and is confident that captain Suresh Raina can make a strong comeback in the IPL after a dismal showing in the just-concluded World T20.
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"Every player faces this problem in their career, Raina is a matured cricketer and I don't think that he would be under pressure for leading a side first time in the IPL. Every player remains under pressure to perform well and Raina has very good track record. Our focus is to provide a suitable atmosphere to players can perform well," Bansal said in Rajkot, on Monday.
The left-hander managed just 41 runs in four innings in the World T20, in which India were beaten in the semi-finals by West Indies, who went on to win a record second Twenty20 World title.
Ravindra Jadeja, James Faulkner, Brendon McCullum, Dale Steyn and Aaron Finch are some of the other big names in the Gujarat team, which will be coached by former Australia Brad Hodge.
"We have a strong core team, we worked hard on structure draft that was submitted to the Indian Premier League to pick up players and I am satisfied that I managed to get the players which I wanted in my team," Bansal said.
"We wanted to make a balanced team with experience and talent and I am happy that we could manage to get the experience and talented cricketers" he added.
The Lions will play their first match on April 11 against Kings XI Punjab in Mohali in the IPL.
Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiants are the two new franchises in the IPL, replacing suspended teams Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, for two years. They replaced Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, who were suspended for the involvement of some of their officials and co-owners in the IPL betting scandal in 2013, which was probed by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha committee.