Indian Premier League 2016: It’s the Chennai Super Kings effect on Gujarat Lions, says Suresh Raina

After eight years with the Chennai Super Kings, Suresh Raina is out to seek Indian Premier League glory with a new side. The left-handed batsman from Uttar Pradesh has been named captain of the Gujarat Lions, one of two new sides which have replaced CSK and Rajasthan Royals for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.Raina is excited about his new assignment with the Gujarat Lions but he conceded that it would be difficult to move on after spending nearly a decade with one of the most consistent sides in the IPL. But he does have with him the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Bravo and Dwayne Smith, men who had made CSK a mean fighting machine. (Also Read: Clash of the Captains: It’s MS Dhoni vs Virat Kohli as IPL returns)That’s a powerful combination and there’s little wonder then that the Rajkot-based franchise are being considered favourites for the ninth edition.”I guess it’s the Chennai Super Kings effect. There are so many from the CSK here. Yes, the team looks very good, it’s a great mix. All of us are just about beginning to get together. Some have already reached Rajkot, the rest are on their way.”We will have two days of practise in Gujarat, then the opening ceremony in Mumbai, and then it all begins. McCullum, Faulkner, Bravo, Finch, Smith add to the batting might. In fact, in Faulkner, we have such a good all-rounder. There’s Ravindra Jadeja who is around too,” Raina told the Times of India. (Also Read: Fans to turn umpires in IPL 9. Here’s how)advertisementRaina admitted it won’t be easy to play for a new team after all the adulation and god-like status from their fans in Chennai. But the 29-year-old said that as professionals, they have no qualms about playing for the Gujarat Lions and promised to fire on all cylinders.”We were superstars in Chennai and to understand what I’m saying, one had to be there to see it. It was almost like a different cult, a different religion and we were treated like gods.”Gujarat Lions will take on Pune Supergiants for the first time on April 14 in Rajkot and Raina said it would be a great contest to see former CSK colleagues battle each other. (Also Read: Match-winners make Gujarat Lions an exciting side, says Suresh Raina)”It’s going to be a great contest. We’ve all been through tough situations, won handsomely, felt very disappointed after losses and built a great connect.We all understand each other well – strengths, weaknesses etc. So, it’s going to be interesting and emotional.” read more