We are here to win - Gujarat Lions coach Brad Hodge
We are here to win - Gujarat Lions coach Brad Hodge

There is a lot of excitement and frenzy surrounding the Gujarat Lions this time around in the IPL. Along with the Rising Pune Supergiants, the Lions make their IPL debut and promise to be a thrilling outfit. Led by IPL’s leading run-getter Suresh Raina, the Gujarat Lions will play their home games in Rajkot and in Kanpur.

In a recent interaction, Brad Hodge, coach of the Lions said that his side had the potential and ability to win the IPL. Hodge, who previously played for the Rajasthan Royals and the Kolkata Knight Riders, is an icon for T20 cricket after participating in numerous T20 leagues across the globe.

“I sit here and think we can win the title,” Hodge said. “That’s the ambition. “Every team would sit there and think ‘if we could make the qualifiers or the finals you give yourself a 50-50 chance going into that’. “My job is to get the best out of every individual and make sure that happens. “I’m very much a person who doesn’t need a lot of motivating. If I can get that across to the players hopefully it will take care of itself.”

With genuine match winners in the ranks in the form of Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Bravo, Suresh Raina and Dale Steyn, there is no doubt regarding the potential surrounding this team. “Looking back at the whole process before the auction, looking at the money situation I really think Pune and the Lions were up against it,” Hodge said. “We had to find 14 players with a limited purse and we only had five players already signed while other teams had pretty much a full list. “I think we did an exceptional job. I’m really happy with the team. “There’s some great match-winners there, some super talent.”

Hodge also quickly added that it wasn’t too easy coaching a new side. The Gujarat Lions coach admitted to the pressure his side would face from the other franchises. “The hardest thing is starting fresh,” he said. “Everything’s hard for the administration, the management, the players – it’s just brand new. “People have to worry about new uniforms, grounds, ticket sales, all those sort of things that every other team pretty much has set in stone – the game plane is there, the recipe is there, they (the established teams) just have to follow it, whereas we’re sort of up against it. “Everyone’s been working behind the scenes pretty hard to make sure everything’s comfortable. “As soon as you get the first game underway those things will flow a little bit easier and people will become accustomed and we’ll just move on.”