Chris Gayle has scored more than 7,000 Test runs, more than 10,000 ODI runs, and more than 13,000 T20 runs. Scored more T20 centuries than any player, hit more sixes than any player. Lot of records that only belong to him. Two-times T20 World Cup winner and a T20 giant. Still, Chris Gayle can’t make it to the playing XI? Really!!!
Chris Gayle is in UAE where he is representing Kings XI Punjab. The franchise bought him in 2018 after Royal Challengers Bangalore released him in the previous year. A cricketer with so much to offer to cricket and so many achievements, still he hasn’t been featured in any of his team’s fixtures yet. Strange.
Kings XI Punjab have played six matches so far and they have five. They are currently sitting at the bottom of the table and are on the verge of elimination now. The team is very near to the stage where their destiny would no longer be in their own hands. Now they require to win at least six matches of their remaining eight to fancy their chances for the playoffs.
The opening saga for KXIP
KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal had opened the innings in each of the six occasions and both of them have enough to regain their spots. Rahul is the highest run-scorer of the tournament and Agarwal is the third highest so far. Both have scored one century each but things haven’t gone as they would’ve hoped. They have plenty of middle-order problems.
They even lost their third match after scoring a 183-run partnership for the opening wicket. That’s because there middle-order hadn’t contributed to the cause. The same happened in other matches.
Glenn Maxwell, another T20 superstar but not at the moment. He is under very scrutiny as he failed to impress in any of his outings so far. In six attempts, he only managed to score 48 runs with a highest score of 13 with a strike-rate of 85. He was bought at a whopping price of INR 10.75 crore for this year’s IPL but certainly didn’t perform as expected.
Maxwell clearly struggled at this year’s IPL and find difficulty in finding rhythm and middling the ball. He came to the IPL on the back of a dominant performance in the ODI series against England in the UK but hasn’t found his range in the IPL. It’ll be interesting to see whether the franchise will stick with him in the upcoming matches or not.
Should Gayle feature in the remaining fixtures?
Absolutely. Kings XI Punjab are nearly on the verge of elimination and one more loss will hurt their chances of qualifying for the playoffs big time. Chris Gayle is a match-winner and he can win matches for any time from any situation on his own. KXIP must rely on Gayle and his match-winning abilities.
Even the batting coach has also said Chris Gayle will feature in the playing XI soon and he is well set to feature in the team’s next match against KKR.
Who will make way for Gayle?
Well, Glenn Maxwell is the most likely to be replaced with Chris Gayle. The other overseas players for KXIP are Nicholas Pooran, who performed in their previous match and they will likely to stick with him, Sheldon Cottrell, Mujeeb ur Rahman. All the three players look to play the next match that only makes Maxwell to make place for Gayle.
But, where will he play? That’s the big question. Gayle is an opener and likes to open the innings. On the other hand, Mayank Agarwal is performing well at the top. If Gayle opens the innings, then Agarwal will be pushed down and looks set to be pushed down the order.
Kings XI Punjab will play their next match against Kolkata Knight Riders on October 10 at Abu Dhabi.