IPL 9: Losing Suresh Raina is huge, says Gujarat Lions coach Brad Hodge

May 14, 2016, 09:51 IST | Satish Viswanathan

Bangalore: Win the toss and win the match has been the mantra this season in the IPL, with barely a handful of totals being defended. If you are wondering why that is so, you are not alone. One of the world’s leading exponents of the T20 game in the recent past, too is searching for an answer to that one.

IPL 9: Losing Suresh Raina is huge, says Gujarat Lions coach Brad HodgeSuresh Raina and Brad Hodge

“Not sure why its so,” stated Brad Hodge, the Gujarat Lions coach, speaking on the eve of the game against Royal Challengers Bangalore. “Maybe it’s the wickets, they’ve been a little bit better this IPL. Which is interesting because the World Cup really didn’t show that the wickets were that great. But the wickets here have been unbelievably good for batting.

“When I walk out and see the wickets myself I get a little bit thirsty to have a walk out there and have a bat. That’s the only reason I can put it down to,” was the coach’s take.

Presently Hodge’s problem is the absence of his skipper Suresh Raina, away in the Netherlands on paternity leave. “It’s a huge loss,” he said of Raina’s absence. “Anyone that’s scored close to 4000 runs in this tournament is a loss to our line-up,” he said, confirming that Brendon McCullum would take over the captaincy.

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