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Gujarat Lions’ Suresh Raina makes light of Jadeja’s absence in IPL 2017 T20

Gujarat Lions skipper Suresh Raina termed Ravindra Jadeja’s absence from the initial games in IPL 2017 T20 as a ‘big blow’, but added that the team has enough strength to deal with the same

ipl 2017 Updated: Apr 07, 2017 11:59 IST
ipl 2017,Suresh Raina,Gujarat Lions
Gujarat Lions skipper Suresh Raina is confident that the team will be able to deal with the absence of Ravindra Jadeja from the initial games in IPL 2017 T20.(Getty Images)

Gujarat Lions captain Suresh Raina said even though Ravindra Jadeja’s absence in Friday’s game against Kolkata Knight Riders was a blow, he was sure of his side’s ability to play according to the situation and come out with flying colours. (FULL IPL COVERAGE)

“I think it’s a big blow but I think the BCCI wanted him to rest for two games so he’ll join the side after two games,” said Raina at the Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium.

“We still have a couple of youngsters, spinners and good fast bowlers. We have a good batting line-up, so when he comes our team would be fully strengthful (sic).”

READ | IPL 2017 T20: Gujarat Lions seek victorious start at home against Kolkata Knight Riders

However, Jadeja isn’t the only big name missing from the side. West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo too will miss a few games because of a hamstring injury he suffered during the Big Bash League last year. “I think Ravindra will be back after two games and Dwayne is doing his rehab. His trainer is here, the doctor is there so I can’t say much on Bravo right now. He needs to do his rehab for a couple of days and when he’s completely fit he might join us.”

After losing out on a central BCCI contract, IPL will be the platform for Raina to impress the national selectors and make a case for the Champions Trophy.

However, having played his last ODI in 2015 against South Africa, it will be difficult for the aggressive left-hander. “I played the last three T20s against England and I’ve come here early as well. We practiced for quite a few sessions so it’s going to be exciting. I just need to continue, and start well,” he said.

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At the nets on Thursday, Raina was the first to step in and take guard while Aaron Finch and Brendon McCullum took turns at the other net.

Raina said he was aware of the spin threat of KKR but said his side was up to the task. “We have a leg-spinner called Tejas Baroka, and Shadab Jakati, who has done really well in domestic cricket,” he said.

“Then we have Shivam Singh from Chattisgarh… So we have a couple of players but we’ll see the wicket and I’ll sit with the coach and decide what we have to do.”

First Published: Apr 07, 2017 09:52 IST