IPL 2019: Ajinkya Rahane Wary of Chris Gayle; Glad to Have Steven Smith in RR
Rajasthan Royals (RR) skipper Ajinkta Rahane, who’s a determined character, is ready for the kick-off of their Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign. He has expressed delight on having Steven Smith back in the fold. Rahane added they won’t show any complacency whatsoever against Chris Gayle.
The Windies veteran Gayle is a part of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) squad to instil fear among the opposition team. His glorious entry into the T20 circuit is known to all, and his power-hitting stands atop.
Gayle, who’s known for his devastating batting, has been a major asset for distinct teams in the IPL. Since 2009, Gayle has played 112 matches to score 3994 runs. He has six hundreds and 24 fifties to his name.
Well, Gayle has also the highest score of unbeaten 175 to his name which came in the sixth edition (2013) of the IPL. While maintaining his batting average of 41.17, Gayle has accumulated runs at the strike-rate of 150.71.
IPL 2019: Chris Gayle is a threat
Furthermore, the right-handed batsman Rahane, who leads the core group, reiterated the 38-year-old swashbuckling batsman is capable of tearing apart the opposition.
Rahane remarked that they won’t take things easy with Gayle strengthening Punjab’s batting order.
“Chris Gayle is still a dangerous player and we will not take them lightly,” Rahane said.
The Jaipur-based team will play its opener at Sawai Mansingh Stadium against KXIP on Monday evening.
IPL 2019: Ajinkya Rahane and RR happy to see Smith in the fold –
The 30-year-old top-order batsman Rahane revealed Royals are a happy bunch. He added they are excited to receive high-quality batsman Smith.
Well, the return of Smith will stabilise the middle-order department. Interestingly, Royals are reliant on the foreign recruits which could be tricky at the fag end of the tournament.
The World Cup-bound players are supposed to leave early to join their national team and thereon, Royals could find themselves in a tangle.
“It is nice to have him back but he was always a part of Royals family,” Rahane told PTI.
Smith is making a return after a prolonged gap of one year. He missed out on the eleventh edition of IPL following the ball-tampering scandal at the Cape Town which eventually rocked cricketing world in March.
Rahane has made it clear that they’re looking forward to play according to the situation. He said they’ve their positives while knowing KXIP is a strong unit.
On the other side, Smith has made his IPL debut in 2012. He has featured in 69 matches to amass 1703 runs at an average of 37.02. He has a ton and five fifties under his belt.
“We will focus on our own positives. But know that Kings XI Punjab is a good side,” Rahane maintained.
By going to their squad, both teams are in good stead. Moreover, it’s expected to be an exciting clash.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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