IPL 2020: KXIP captain KL Rahul makes big statement on Chris Gayle
Dubai: West Indies’ opening batsman Chris Gayle is one of the best batsmen in Twenty20 cricket. Over the years, he has enthralled fans in various domestic T20 leagues including the Indian Premier League (IPL). He still holds the record for the highest individual score (175 not out) in T20s and IPL. However, in the ongoing IPL 2020, he is yet to find a place in the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) Playing XI as captain KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal have opened the batting in the two games so far. But Rahul said Gayle will have a “huge role” to play and win matches for the Punjab franchise.
The 41-year-old Gayle has played 404 T20 games and scored more than 13,000 runs with 22 hundreds in the format. His IPL career started with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and later he was with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
With only four overseas players allowed in the Playing XI, Punjab have not picked Gayle as they have a settled opening combination in Rahul and Mayank. KXIP lost their opening match of IPL 2020 to Delhi Capitals (DC) and yesterday (September 24) they thrashed RCB by 97 runs for their first win.
Rahul, who scored an Indian record of 132 against RCB in Dubai, said Gayle is “stronger, fitter” and also striking the ball well in practice sessions.
“He (Gayle) has been the biggest match-winner in T20 cricket. He has the most experience in T20 cricket. Not playing somebody as big as Chris is not an easy call to make. He has come back stronger, fitter. Though he is ageing, he is getting fitter by the day, that is what I keep telling him,” Rahul told InsideSport website’s ‘Amstrad Face 2 Face Cricket Series’.
“He is striking the ball really well. I am very, very certain that at some point in the tournament, he will have a huge role to play and he will come in and win games for us,” he added.