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Gujarat Lions might rethink overseas strategy, says coach Brad Hodge

Brad Hodge feels that the Gujarat Lions batsmen read Rashid khan well.

IPL 9
Kolkata: Gujarat Lions celebrate fall of a wicket during an IPL match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Gujarat Lions at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, on May 8, 2016. (Photo Source: IANS)

The Gujarat Lions had a disastrous start to their Indian Premier League campaign as they ended up on the losing side in their opening two games against the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Sunrisers Hyderabad. They went in with four overseas batsmen in the games which did not at all work for them. Their bowling department has been the weakest factor as they have managed to pick up only one wicket in the two games they have played.

As a result, coach Brad Hogg has hinted at a change in tactic and we might see the franchise field an overseas bowler instead of playing four overseas batsmen in their next game.  They might be tempted to include either James Faulkner or Andrew Tye in their lineup in place of one overseas batsman.

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Brad Hodge quoted “I think we need to analyse a few areas of our game,” Hodge said after the match. “I think we need to improve and understand that, ‘look your last year was a great season and it is going to take some hard work and effort to repeat that.”

“Yeah, we were tempted [to play either Faulkner or Tye], yes. I guess it is one of those 50-50 calls where either you can make that change, or back those guys again to be successful. Unfortunately it didn’t work. And we’ll look at that combination again. I guess the good thing is that we are still searching for answers and it is only early in the tournament. So it’s good we really have the opportunity to knuckle down, have a look at the particular areas and I am sure that selection criteria [of picking an overseas bowler] will come into play.”

It was Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan who completely took down the Gujarat batting line up but Brad Hodge feels that the Gujarat batsmen did read the bowler well. He also said that after losing three quick wickets to the bowler it was highly unlikely that Gujarat were going to record a big total.

“We clearly didn’t post a big enough total. We lost three quick wickets to Rashid. That pushed us on the back foot, and we were never going to be able to post a big enough total. I think they read him, they just said they didn’t play him that well. He’s a good bowler and we identified that before the game that he was going to be a threat. We just lost three consecutive wickets back to back and all pretty good players too.”

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