Just as we write this article, the Gujarat Lions have lost yet another one; this time against the Kings XI Punjab, whose campaign is now back on track. Gujarat Lions, on the other hand, have just two victories out of the 7 games they’ve played. Worse, Dwayne Bravo has been ruled out of the IPL 10 and Gujarat Lions have been left in the middle of the tournament, gasping for air. Bravo, the West Indian all-rounder, has been a handy bowler, on his day, a destructive batsman and an athletic fielder. His mere presence lifts teams up.
For the uninitiated, Bravo had suffered a terrible hamstring injury back in December and has been out of action ever since.
With Bravo officially out of the tournament now, the Gujarat Lions will be on the lookout for possible replacements. “Yes, Dwayne Bravo has been ruled out of the tournament. He had been doing all the rehab but just couldn’t take the heat. Would need another few weeks to get ready. We need to have a chat with the management and see who could be the replacement,” Raina said earlier in the day at the toss between Gujarat and Punjab at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
Filling in the shoes of someone like Dwayne Bravo isn’t an easy task, especially if we consider the IPL, where Dwayne Bravo’s performance has been exemplary. He first played for the Mumbai Indians and was later bought by Chennai Superkings. In Mumbai as well as in Chennai, Bravo did a tremendous job.
Gujarat Lions will ponder over options and will have a hard time to find a replacement. Dwayne Bravo, a veteran of 106 IPL games, has 122 wickets in the league and has scored as well, at important junctures.
As far as a replacement for Bravo is concerned, Gujarat could go for Mahmudullah, the Bangladesh all-rounder who has been a consistent performer for Bangladesh and can be a handy replacement. He is a more than a handy spin bowler and can deal a few lusty blows with the bat.
Irfan Pathan, the former India all-rounder, who was surprisingly unpicked in the February auctions, could be another good option for the Gujarat-based franchise. Once a prolific left-arm swing bowler, Irfan Pathan was reduced to being a shadow of his former self, till he recently played belligerently in domestic tournaments. Considering his performances in the domestic season gone by, experts were surprised that he wasn’t picked. The southpaw can be a dangerous batsman in any position and is a handy medium pace bowler.
Gujarat will surely be in a dilemma as far as roping in a replacement is concerned.