Chris “Universe Boss”, the Windies T20 legend and opening batting star has not had a game since the IPL tournament got underway over a week ago.
However, Kings XI Punjab captain KL Rahul may well be saving the best wine for last — keeping Gayle on the bench until the team’s neediest moment.
So far, Kings XI Punjab has struggled to one win and three losses, however, Gayle is yet to face a ball on the pitch.
Albeit it must be frustrating for a player of Gayle’s caliber to be in the pavilion watching his team get beaten repeatedly.
That said, KXIP has managed to put 200+ totals on the board in two of the four matches they have played, so the question of a batter may not be the missing spoke in the wheel at this time.
With the likes of Rahul and Mayank Agarwal at the top, Punjab has both the centurions of this IPL at their disposal, and hence the need to have Gayle in the final 11 may be premature at this time.
The fact is the team’s two openers are performing very well and the number three spot occupied by Nicholas Pooran, a young audacious IPL batting rising star is not up for the taking by a 41-year-old Gayle.
The captain, however, has expressed strong confidence in Gayle and see him gracing the wicket when the time is right.
“It’s been a lot of fun playing with Chris. Not just (that) I have played two seasons with him at KXIP, I have played with him at RCB as well. I have known him for a good 6-7 years. As a youngster, I did speak with him a lot and I was looking at him as an opening batsman. How destructive, powerful, and how intimidating he is,” Rahul told TimesofIndia.
“I try to learn a lot from him (Gayle). We share a good friendship and that’s what came out in the middle in the last two seasons. He is somebody who is such an impact player, such a match-winner for whatever team he has played. Like I said he is very intimidating and takes down the opposition on a given day. He can destroy any bowling attack.”
So, until the time is right, Gayle will continue to play the role of the chief advisor and counsellor in house.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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