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Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) chief coach Mike Hesson is hopeful to witness Chris Gayle alongside Mayank Agarwal strengthening the top-order against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), in the ongoing IPL 2019 season. Earlier, Agarwal has missed a game due to a hand injury. On the other side, Gayle has been struggling with his back.
However, ahead of the crucial fixture against RCB, Hesson maintained the duo will boost the batting line-up against a miserable looking side led by Virat Kohli.
The 44-year-old Hesson, who has also served as a New Zealand national team coach, reiterated the KXIP will be bolstered with the availability of Windies veteran Chris Gayle.
So far, the Ravichandran Ashwin-led Punjab has been unbeaten at home. The hosts have won seven matches on the trot.
However, recently the KXIP team has had faced a heartbreaking loss at the Wankhede against the Mumbai Indians (MI) when Kieron Pollard’s pyrotechnics lit the iconic stadium.
While talking about the duo, Hesson stated Gayle has recovered after hurting his foot. He added Gayle is likely for the game on Saturday evening.
Overall, on this season’s scoreboard, Gayle is placed sixth with 223 runs at an average of 37.13 in six innings. While scoring runs at the strike-rate of 158.16, Gayle has left an impact at the top.
IPL 2019: Mike Hesson is positive about Gayle and Agarwal –
Furthermore, he is hopeful to see Agarwal making a return in the playing XI.
In six innings, Agarwal has amassed 184 runs at an average of 30.67. He has scored runs at the strike-rate of 138.35.
“Gayle has made some good recovery, it’s just back spasms, then anything major. He got a whack on his foot but that seems to have settled down as well. He is highly likely to play on Saturday. Mayank has made some good recovery. Obviously, he had some damage to his finger but I am hopeful that he will be playing,” Hesson told ToI.
Hesson also revealed that they won’t show any complacency against the RCB. The visitors have lost all six games so far in this season.
Concurrently, Punjab is fifth on the points table with four wins in seven games. So far, they have bagged eight points.