Chris Gayle Was Tough To Be Omitted In IPL 2020 : KL Rahul
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Chris Gayle Was Tough To Be Omitted But Will Play Later In IPL 2020: KL Rahul

KL Rahul, Chris Gayle
Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

Chris Gayle saw both the two IPL 2020 matches of KXIP from the sidelines as his franchise ignored the hard-hitting batsman. Kings XI Punjab skipper KL Rahul said that the decision not to play a match-winner like Chris Gayle was an extremely tough decision for them. The captain also said that the swashbuckling West Indian Chris Gayle is getting fitter and stronger each day and will have a huge role to play in the latter half of the tournament.

Kings XI Punjab has so far played two matches in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 and witnessed a Super Over defeat in the first match before winning the second match. The KL Rahul-led side lost against Delhi Capitals in a Super Over but made a great comeback in the league with a massive 97-run win against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Thursday.

KL Rahul And Chris Gayle
KL Rahul And Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle Will Have A Huge Role To Play At Some Point In IPL 2020: KL Rahul

Chris Gayle is the sixth-highest run-scorer in IPL history with 4484 runs in 125 matches and has the highest individual score in IPL history which is an unbeaten 175. He has also hit the maximum number of centuries-6 and maximum sixes-326. He is particularly known for his ability to clear the ropes at will and he has 111 more sixes than next placed South African legend AB de Villiers.

“Chris Gayle has been the biggest match-winner in T20 cricket and to not play a match-winner like Chris is a very hard decision for us. The way he has come back after lockdown, the way he is batting, he is getting fitter and stronger by the day.

Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle

“He is striking the ball really well and some point in the tournament he will have a huge role to play,” Rahul said during a conversation on InsideSport’s ‘Amstrad Face 2 Face Cricket Series’.

KL Rahul played an unbeaten knock of 132 runs off only 69 balls as he helped his side post a huge target of 207 for RCB to chase. With this knock, KL Rahul also achieved the highest individual score by an Indian player in the IPL history. Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin then took three wickets apiece in the match as they bundled out RCB for a paltry 109 runs to win by 97 runs.

KXIP Have A Good Balance Of Youngsters And Experienced Players: KL Rahul

KL Rahul also commented on sharing the burden of responsibility as a captain in such an intense tournament.

“I think it is that kind of skill or that kind of responsibility one learns on the go, I don’t think that there is much one can prepare for. I am trying to create an environment in the dressing room or off-the-field for the boys to play and enjoy the game with complete freedom and not have any pressure on their shoulder,” he said.

The 28-year-old wicket-keeper batsman and skipper of KXIP also backed youngsters in the team saying that they will play an important role for KXIP in this season.

“The bowling attack is looking really good. We have got a good balance of young players and some experienced bowlers like Mohammed Shami who has been a part of the franchise for a couple of seasons. He has started really well and also, someone like Sheldon Cottrell who is playing his first IPL but has a lot of international experience,” he said.

KL Rahul and Mohammed Shami
KL Rahul and Mohammed Shami (Image Credit: BCCI/IPL)

“This is what we really wanted in our franchise that is a left-arm seamer who brings in a different skill. We have Chris Jordan, Jimmy Neesham as an all-rounder and Maxwell who can bowl a bit. Having all-rounders makes a lot of difference for the team.”

“We have some youngsters who are really exciting and you will see that they will play a big role for us during the season,” Rahul added.

The foreigners include cricketers like Chris Gayle, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Sheldon Cottrell, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Jimmy Neesham and Chris Jordan. There is no dearth of Indian recruits as Mayank Agarwal, Mandeep Singh and Karun Nair are also present in the squad. Skipper KL Rahul and Mohammed Shami are recipients of Orange Cap and Purple Cap respectively as they are leading run-scorer and wicket-taker respectively in the IPL 2020.

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