DC vs KXIP IPL 2020 LIVE: It will be the battle of two neighbouring states, with Delhi Capitals and Kings XI Punjab going hammers and tongs against each other at Dubai International Stadium. While DC head coach Ricky Ponting has given a slight hint of who will play the opening match, KXIP coach Anil Kumble is yet to decide his playing eleven. The biggest problem for the Indian coach would be how he solves the Chris Gayle – Nicholas Pooran conundrum.
DC vs KXIP IPL 2020 LIVE: Will Chris Gayle open for KXIP?
If there is one player who is probably synonymous to T20 let alone Indian Premier League, it is Chris “The Boss” Gayle. Whenever, Gayle enters the stadium swinging his bat, the voices of the fans reach a crescendo. And put his big long sixes in the mix, it becomes a surreal experience for the cricket lovers but a nightmare for bowlers. Such is the aura of the over 6ft tall batsman. But the man who uncontestedly owns almost every record there is now getting old. With young talents coming in, he now has to fight for the place which once was ruled by him.
Gayle arrived at Kings XI Punjab in 2018 after they bought him in the last round of the mega-auction. Initially, he was not part of the playing XI, as Punjab chose Mayank Agarwal over him. But in the third match against Chennai Super Kings, “The Boss” showed why it was a mistake to drop him from the team. His 63 of 33 balls had helped Ashwin-led side register their second win of the tournament. The Windies played 11 matches in 2018 and 13 in 2019 and has amassed over 800 runs. The six-foot-tall cricketer owns almost every record there is, including that of the most runs (now 10,000+), most hundreds, fastest hundred, and most fours and sixes.
Given the fact that UAE pitches favour spin, and The Boss being a nightmare for spinner — remember his blitzkrieg against Rashid Khan where he hit four sixes in an over — Kumble would likely make a KL Rahul-Gayle opening combination. It would ensure plenty of runs on top of the order.
How Pooran fits in will be interesting. According to IPL guidelines only four overseas players can be picked for the playing XI. With Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Sheldon Cortell assured, it would be Glenn Maxwell, Gayle and Pooran fighting for the fourth spot.
However, one thing is for sure, it would be a good headache for Kumble and KL Rahul who would have plenty of batting options to choose from.