IPL 2017: 5 things that went wrong for Gujarat Lions (GL) this season
In their farewell IPL season, Gujarat Lions didn't get the fairytale ending that they would have wanted. After finishing top of the table in IPL 2016 and making the playoffs, the Lions' IPL 2017 campaign didn't go according to plan as they finished seventh with just four wins from their 14 matches.
The fact that they didn't finish with the wooden spoon will come as scant consolation to captain Suresh Raina, who was impressive once again, finishing the group stages as the fourth-leading run-getter in the tournament. For a variety of reasons, the season didn't go as the Lions would have wanted, so let us take a look at the things that went awry for Raina's side.
Time taken to find the right combination
At the start of IPL 2017, Gujarat Lions used their four overseas slots to play four international openers in the side. Aaron Finch, Dwayne Smith batted in the middle-order and they didn't have a single overseas all-rounder or bowler in the side. That affected their bowling immensely and failed to get wins on the board.
It wasn't after a few matches that the Lions managed to find the right combination with Andrew Tye in the side along with two specialist openers. Tye's injury complicated matters even further but also meant James Faulkner was back in the fold, which gave the side a better balance and flexibility.
Irfan Pathan was brought in as a replacement and could have offered the side the flexibility that they craved with both bat and ball. Not only was his arrival delayed but he didn’t play a great deal either once he was brought in.
The time taken to find the right combination also affected their start to the tournament as they didn't notch up too many wins at the start. The fast start that Mumbai Indians got off to this season meant that the losses towards the end didn't matter as much but the Lions didn't give themselves that luxury.