NEW DELHI: When will Chris Gayle play? This question has been asked multiple times since IPL 2020 began.
Gayle, who holds the records for maximum number of sixes hit and centuries scored in the IPL, is yet to play a game this season. He was sidelined for a while due to a stomach infection and was also admitted to a hospital.
Gayle is now fit, though, and raring to go . POINTS TABLE |
KXIP’s batting coach Wasim Jaffer, in an exclusive interview with Timesofindia.com, highlighted the importance of a player like Gayle in the team and how badly the Punjab outfit has been missing the swashbuckling batsman.
“We are missing him. He was supposed to play the last two or three games but he, unfortunately, suffered the upset stomach. He was hospitalised. He is fit now. Hopefully, for the next game, I can see him playing straightaway,” Jaffer told Timesofindia.com in an exclusive interview.
(Chris Gayle – IPL Twitter Photo)
“Players like Gayle do make a difference. If he is in form, he can put a lot of fear among the bowlers and gives the team confidence. He can win a game on his own. He looks hungry when he bats”, the KXIP’s batting coach said.
Despite putting up a solid show with the bat on the field, KXIP have so far managed to win just one match out of seven played. Incredibly, the top two run-getters so far this season are both from Punjab – KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal.
Apart from the top three batsmen – Rahul, Agarwal, and Nicholas Pooran, KXIP’s middle-order, which has stars like Glenn Maxwell and Mandeep Singh, has failed miserably.
On being asked what has gone wrong so far in KXIP’s execution on the field, Jaffer said: “I think some close games that we lost. The games we lost against Delhi Capitals, Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders. Those close games can hurt you. I don’t think we have played that badly. We need a little luck. I am hoping the tide will change.”
“We have to stay positive. We have no time left. We have to win at least 6 out of 7 matches. But I think if we get a couple of wins straight away, the tables can turn. Cricket is a funny game, anything can happen. We have talented players in our team. They can change the course of the game at any point of time,” Jaffer, who holds the record for most career runs in the Ranji Trophy, further told TimesofIndia.com.
(Wasim Jaffer – Twitter Photo)
Punjab skipper Rahul has so far scored 387 runs in 7 matches (7 innings) at an average of 64.50 and is sitting on top of the tally, while Mayank is in second spot with 337 runs in 7 matches (7 innings) at an average of 48.14.
“Both KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal have been the major scorers for us. Nicholas Pooran also has contributed with the bat. The other guys haven’t got much of the opportunities. Even if they have, they failed to cash in on it. But we need to understand, it’s T20s. In T20s, the top three get most overs. Anyone who comes lower down the order, they get a handful of balls to play. Maxwell hasn’t (delivered) with the bat. Karun and Mandeep also. KL Rahul and Mayank have been batting superbly,” he said.
“KL has been in fantastic form for Team India and Kings XI. It is very heartening to see the way Mayank has been playing. He is just amazing. He is really keen to show his potential. He is grabbing opportunities with both hands,” Jaffer signed off.