Gautam Gambhir believes the Punjab Kings should continue to field the West Indies legend, keeping the Indian conditions in mind.
Gambhir's comments come in light of Chris Gayle's poor outings this season. The Jamaican cricketer has only accrued 76 runs in 4 matches so far in IPL 2021. His highest score in the tournament is 40, and he has been striking the ball at a rate of 118.75.
"Absolutely not. I think there is no comparison, Chris Gayle in T20 cricket in comparison to Dawid Malan. Yes, he might be the No. 1 T20 cricketer in the world, but you got to look at the conditions as well," he said:
In the recently concluded five-match T20I series between India and England, Dawid Malan mustered 80 runs in the first four matches before scoring 68 in the final game.
"Chris Gayle should open" - Gautam Gambhir
With KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal doing a decent job of opening the innings for the Punjab Kings, Chris Gayle has been slotted down to No. 3 since the last season. However, Gautam Gambhir firmly voiced his opinion that the 41-year-old should open the innings for the team.
"If you've got to make him bat at No. 3, he's going to struggle at Chepauk. And 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.
Gautam Gambhir further explained that Chris Gayle could be destructive if he spends more time out in the middle. He also opined that there isn't anyone better than Gayle to capitalize on the first six overs in Chennai, where the track has been slowing down as the innings progressed.
"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 capitalized, 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," Gautam Gambhir added.
Punjab Kings have won only one out of the four games they have played this season. They will be taking on the Mumbai Indians (MI) later today.