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IPL 2021: "You can play whoever you want, it will not make a difference" - Aakash Chopra on Gayle's absence for the Punjab Kings

Chris Gayle will not be seen in action for the Punjab Kings in the remainder of IPL 2021 [P/C: iplt20.com]
Chris Gayle will not be seen in action for the Punjab Kings in the remainder of IPL 2021 [P/C: iplt20.com]
Kartik Iyer
ANALYST

Aakash Chopra believes the Punjab Kings (PBKS) have been hit hard by the withdrawal of Chris Gayle from the rest of IPL 2021.

Gayle has opted out of the remainder of this year's edition of the Indian Premier League due to bubble fatigue. The Jamaican wants to take a break from bubble life ahead of the upcoming 2021 T20 World Cup.

🚨 UPDATE 🚨Chris Gayle will not be a part of the PBKS squad for the remainder of #IPL2021! #SaddaPunjab #PunjabKings https://t.co/vHfyEeMOOJ

While previewing the Punjab Kings' clash against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra highlighted the former's selection dilemma. He said:

"This is an interesting one because Gayle is not there, he has said that he is leaving. What will happen to this team with Gayle not there? Overseas player - if you wish you can give a chance to Fabien Allen or Chris Jordan. You can play whoever you want, it will not make a difference."

The former KKR player pointed out that the Punjab Kings do not have any overseas batsmen waiting in the wings and the ones playing have also not covered themselves in glory. Chopra observed:

"What can you do, you will have to play someone for Gayle. I feel for the team - what are you people doing, Nicholas Pooran is not making runs, Gayle has left now, you have played Markram, there is no overseas player sitting out now."

Aakash Chopra added that the Punjab Kings might have to play a bowler or a bowling all-rounder as their fourth overseas player. He explained:

"You have Fabien Allen, Adil Rashid, Chris Jordan - but don't have the batsmen, only these many were there. Malan had not come and in place of him, you had taken Markram. Now no one is left, whom will you play?"

The Punjab Kings could opt to play Moises Henriques if they want to field an overseas batting all-rounder in place of Gayle.


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Aakash Chopra on the other options for Punjab Kings

Mayank Agarwal missed Punjab Kings' last match due to a stiff neck [P/C: iplt20.com]
Mayank Agarwal missed Punjab Kings' last match due to a stiff neck [P/C: iplt20.com]

Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that the Punjab Kings could even opt to go into the match with just three overseas professionals. He elaborated:

"If Mayank is fit, it is great. You can open with him in that case. You had played Mandeep in the last match, you can play him in this match as well and then you just carry on. Either Mayank can come and you go with three overseas or you can play Shahrukh Khan in the middle, that is another option that you can exercise."
Let's make it a π‘²π’π’Šπ’ˆπ’‰π’• to remember! πŸŒƒ#SaddaPunjab #IPL2021 #PunjabKings #KKRvPBKS https://t.co/X8BY6OIhlo

The Punjab Kings will certainly hope that Mayank Agarwal is fit and available for tonight's encounter. The KL Rahul-led side need to win their remaining three league phase matches to stand any chance of making the IPL 2021 playoffs.


Edited by Sai Krishna
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