IPL 2021: Gautam Gambhir explains why Chris Gayle should open for Punjab Kings – One of the biggest names in world cricket with over 10,000 T20 runs, Chris Gayle is a big name in the shortest format. He has won numerous matches on his own in a number of T20 leagues and has not mind-boggling stats/ records in IPL. But, one of the swashbuckling opening batsmen Gayle is forced to bat out of position at Punjab Kings. The No.3 position requires someone who needs to rotate the strike and keep the run rate going. The 41-year-old is someone who relies on boundaries and sixes than running between the wickets. His failure is one of the key reasons behind the Punjab Kings poor run so far in IPL 2021.
Chris Gayle at No.3 in IPL 2021
vs RR: 40 off 28 balls
vs CSK: 10 off 10 balls
vs DC: 11 off 9 balls
vs SRH: 15 off 17 balls
NOTE: It’s not just the dismissals but the manner in which he got out. In all those instances, Chris Gayle departed while trying to go for a big one.
Chris Gayle is a free-flowing batsman. He has amassed the majority of his runs while opening the batting. The Universe Boss likes to go for boundaries and sixes from the word go. At No.3, he is required to play out of his skin. The right-handed batsman does not enjoy the liberty of playing during the powerplay restrictions. He often ends up getting caught with more fielders outside the 30-yard circle while trying to score boundaries.
What is Chris Gayle’s role in the team?
The Universe Boss is known for less running and more hitting and can be a perfect opening partner for KL Rahul. However, his explosive hitting prowess gets wasted as a No.3. Gayle at No.3 has to play cautiously and rotate strikes before he can play his natural game, which certainly is not natural. A Mayank Agarwal at No.3 gives Punjab more security than Gayle at the same position.
Former India cricketer and one of the successful captains in IPL, Gautam Gambhir also feels that Gayle should open the batting for Punjab Kings. He feels that the more time Gayle spends at the crease, the more dangerous he becomes.
“Chris Gayle again, we’ve been seeing match after match, season after season, that if he is in the Playing XI, he should be opening the batting,” Gambhir said on ESPNCricinfo.
“At both the venues, Chris Gayle should have opened the batting in Mumbai because had he played those 60 balls, he would have gotten a hundred. And, more importantly at Chepauk because the first six overs need to be capitalised, and who better than Gayle? You can’t ask him to rotate strike after six overs but if he is in till the seventh over, he can take on someone,” Gambhir added.
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