Kings XI Punjab might be languishing at the bottom of the IPL 2020 points table, but their fortunes might change soon. Their already-strong top order is set to be boosted by the inclusion of Chris Gayle for tonight’s game in Sharjah against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Chris Gayle has not played in any of KXIP's seven games so far. The West Indian big-hitter was set to take part in his first match of the season against Sunrisers Hyderabad last Thursday before being hit by a stomach bug.
The ‘Universe Boss’ missed the game against Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday too, but is fit again to replace Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman in the KXIP line-up for tonight’s clash against his former side.
“To all the fans out there, the wait is over. The ‘Universe Boss’ is back. I know you all have been waiting for such a long time...Seven games to go and we believe we can win all seven, it is still possible. I urge each and every one of the guys to still have the self-belief, like I said the only way we can go is up, it is only up from here,” Chris Gayle said in a video uploaded by KXIP on social media.
Where will Chris Gayle bat?
It might seem weird to break away the most successful opening pair in IPL 2020 so far, but Chris Gayle is best suited to open the innings for the Punjab-based franchise.
It looks like Mayank Agarwal will step down to the No. 3 spot as KL Rahul can sustain the role of an aggressor in case Chris Gayle takes time to set himself.
The entire batting order would move one slot down, and fans might see either Simran Singh or Mandeep Singh being used as a floater with Glenn Maxwell playing at No. 4. What also remains a possibility is KXIP management replacing Maxwell with Kiwi all-rounder James Neesham.
Maxwell has looked out of form, having scored a meagre 58 runs from seven matches so far. Jimmy Neesham will also provide a more potent bowling option.
It remains to be seen what the final XI the Punjab-based franchise will go with for tonight’s clash, and whether Chris Gayle can live up to his promise and get the IPL 2014 runners-up back to winning ways.
Published 15 Oct 2020, 18:13 IST