Mohammad Kaif appointed assistant coach of Gujarat Lions
Kaif will work alongside Brad Hodge, who is the head coach.
What’s the story?
Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif has been appointed as the assistant coach of the Gujarat Lions earlier today ahead of the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League. The news was confirmed via a tweet from the official account of the Lions.
He will be working alongside Brad Hodge, who is the head coach of the side since its inception last year.
In case you didn’t know...
Mohammad Kaif was last seen playing for India over 10 years ago. One of the best fielders to have ever played for the Indian cricket team, Kaif had a lot of success during the beginning of his career.
Unfortunately, did not have a long career with the Men in Blue as his inconsistent performances led to him being dropped from the side shortly after the World Cup. He continues to play cricket to date and is the captain of the Chattisgarh state team.
The heart of the matter
The Gujarat Lions had a succesful run last year despite having a completely new squad. Unlike their counterparts Rising Pune Supergiants, who were also first timers in the IPL, the Lions finished on top of the table, but lost out in the playoffs to the eventual finalists.
One of the problem areas for the Lions was their batting in the last few overs of the match. They had a poor run rate from overs 16-20 when compared to the other sides. With Mohammad Kaif amongst their ranks now, they will be looking to improve upon this area in the upcoming IPL.
The IPL auction will take place in Bangalore on February 20th. With a total of 351 players set to be a part of the auction, the Lions will be looking to make the most of it and rope in some experienced players to their squad.
The IPL schedule was released as well, and the Lions will take on Kolkata Knight Riders in their first match on April 7th.
With a whole lot of international and domestic experience behind him, Kaif’s inclusion in the support staff of the Lions will be welcomed with a breath of fresh air. Working alongside Hodge, and with a whole lot of successful international and Indian cricketers in the side, the Gujarat outfit would surely be the ones to watch out for in the tournament as they would be looking to better last year’s result and be crowned champions this time around.