Gujarat Lions to roar even without Raina

Bengaluru, May 13 (IANS) Sitting pretty in the second position on the points table, debutant Gujarat Lions are on prowl to roar against hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL-9 tie at the Chinnaswamy stadium here on Saturday.

As its skipper Suresh Raina is away in Holland with his wife Priyanka who is expecting their first child soon, New Zealander Brendon McCullum is all set to lead the pack for an outright win to cement its place for play-offs next week.

“We will miss him in action. This is the first time Raina will not be playing in an IPL league tie. Brendon will probably take over the leadership,” Lions’ coach Brad Hodge told reporters here on Friday ahead of the do-or die match for RCB.

Admitting that absence of a world class player like Raina would be a huge loss for the team as a player with a lot of IPL experience and 4,000 runs to his credit, he however said the Lions had match winners in other players like Dwayne Smith, Aaron Finch, Dinesh Karthik and Dwayne Bravo.

“As they all are match winners, they can step up and win a game from any position,” he asserted.

With seven wins from 11 games, Lions have 14 points same as Sunrisers Hyderabad, which is on top from same number (11) of games. A win over RCB will make Lions regain the top position it had touched midway in its debut in the tournament.

–IANS

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