Gujarat Lions are set to make their IPL debut this season, and they have some incredible players in their line-up. New Zealand star Brendon McCullum, who scored the fastest hundred in his final Test appearance Saturday, is one of their big names, and Lions' captain Suresh Raina is pleased to have the player on board for IPL 2016.
"I am very happy for McCullum and that we have him in the Gujarat Lions team. He is a fearless cricketer and we want players who will be playing fearless cricket." Raina was quoted as saying by Deccan Chronicle.
Raina praised the right-hander for scoring the fastest Test century — 100 runs off 54 deliveries — eclipsing the record of Vivian Richards and Misbah-ul Haq, who had both scored their respective tons in 56 deliveries. Raina hopes an Indian player can also come up with such a performance.
"I hope that somebody from India can do it too," Raina said.
McCullum has played similar breathtaking innings in the IPL as well. No one can forget the way he started the first edition of the IPL in 2008, scoring a 73-ball 158. The New Zealander has since continued his brilliance in the tournament, scoring an incredible 2,080 runs so far. He has been a huge asset for Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings. He also played for Kochi Tuskers Kerala.
As has been witnessed in the past, McCullum is a ferocious hitter at the top of the order. The New Zealander takes the attack to the bowlers and normally gets his team off to a flyer. The Lions will expect similar starts from McCullum.
However, it is not only his batting skills that has grabbed headlines. He has been one of the best fielders in the competition, taking some brilliant catches as well. With fielders like Ravindra Jadeja and Raina in their team, the Lions look a strong unit in the field. McCullum, who has played for more than 12 years in the international circuit, can also bring his experience into play and help the Lions become one of the strongest teams in the competition.
Along with the Lions, Rising Pune Supergiants are another new team for IPL 2016. They replaced Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, who have been suspended for two years due to their involvement in IPL 2013 spot-fixing scandal.
With such new teams in the competition, IPL 2016 is expected to be a cracker of a competition.