Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly feels Royal Challengers Bangalore should find a way to include Chris Gayle in their playing eleven.
The runners-up of last year have began their season in a disastrous fashion-one win in first five matches and the form of their star opener Chris Gayle has not helped their cause either. The big Jamaican has managed just 58 runs in the three matches that he has played so far but Ganguly feels the Bangalore-based outfit should include him in the playing eleven.
The former Kolkata Knight Riders and Pune Warriors India skipper also said that out-of-form Shane Watson should be dropped to make a place for Gayle, who is just 3 runs short of becoming the first man on the planet to score 10,000 T20 runs.
“What they need to think is that they need to find a way to get Chris Gayle back into the team, Gayle has to play in the IPL. Yes they have had a little bit of a tough time, I know they are trying to get Shane Watson play as an all-rounder but Watson has done nothing and he looks like a patch of his old self and maybe there can be a case of swapping him with Gayle at the top of the order. De Villiers can come down at No. 5 or 6 and finish the innings. They need to shuffle a bit because they have gone exactly the way they did last season,” Ganguly told India Today.
Royal Challengers Bangalore were in a similar situation last season whey they had managed just a couple of wins in their first seven games. But led by their maverick skipper Virat Kohli, they won six of their remaining matches to make it to the playoffs.
They need a similar turnaround this time as well and Ganguly feels the Virat Kohli-led team can stage a comeback. With Kohli looking in good touch since returning from the injury layoff, Ganguly said that it is a big positive for the team. But at the same time he feels that the absence of the injured KL Rahul and the poor form of Gayle and Watson can make it difficult for them to do well.
“It is not going to be easy, they have to find their form and play very very well but even last year they did not start well but then dominated the last 7-8 matches to make it to the final so it is a similar situation for them.
“The good thing for them is that Virat Kohli looks in good touch but they are missing KL Rahul and missing the form of Gayle and Watson. They have to get their combination right and start playing differently because they are in a position like the Pune team where they do not want it to slip away too far that it becomes difficult for them. It is still early days in the IPL and all the teams are close and no team is too far ahead so RCB has time to get back”, the former batsman said.
He also said that the Bangalore pitch needs to be sorted out if the home team is looking for their batsmen to start firing. The average first innings score at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium last year was 197 but the batsmen have found it tough to score freely this time around. In the three home matches so far, RCB have managed to score 157, 142 and 161 runs batting first and have lost 2 of those encounters.
“Virat Kohli has got to be careful because I do not think they are playing on a good surface at the Chinnaswamy stadium. They need to play on a good wicket because they are a power packed side with the likes of Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers, Kedar Jadhav so I don’t think they can perform so poorly. It has not worked for them because they missed to many players at the start of the tournament and lost those games.
“They are trying to climb from behind and it is getting difficult for them, they need to quickly find a solution but they need to find a way to get Chris Gayle back into the side because if Gayle fires he will win the game for RCB but they need to get that surface right in Bangalore”, concluded Ganguly.
Languishing last in the table, RCB will take on seventh-placed Gujarat Lions in their next match on Tuesday (April 18) in Rajkot.