IPL 2020: Chris Gayle Can Destroy Any Opposition - KL Rahul
Chris Gayle may forge an attacking opening partnership with KL Rahul. Punjab haven't played Chris Gayle as Mayank Agarwal has batted brilliantly. KL Rahul, KXIP skipper had spoken to TimesofIndia.com about playing with swashbuckling destructive West Indian Chris Gayle in the same KXIP team although Punjab haven't played Chris Gayle yet in IPL 2020, they know the firepower they have waiting on their bench and watching from the sidelines.
KL Rahul is the leading run-scorer in IPL 2020. When the destructive KL Rahul and Chris Gayle are at the crease together, you can expect fireworks. Both the Kings XI Punjab openers lit up the last season with their swashbuckling display of batting.KL Rahul And Chris Gayle. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL
Chris Gayle Is Destructive, Powerful And Intimidating: KL Rahul
Chris Gayle had a fine season in 2019 where he was on the verge of getting his 7th IPL century but remained unbeaten on 99. Chris Gayle has the maximum number of sixes-326 and the highest individual score-175 not out in IPL which may never be broken. He has hit six centuries too and is ahead of Virat Kohli who has five.
'It's been a lot of fun playing with Chris. Not just (that) I have played two seasons with him at KXIP, I have played with him at RCB as well. I have known him for a good 6-7 years. As a youngster, I did speak with him a lot and I was looking at him as an opening batsman. How destructive, powerful, and how intimidating he is,' Rahul told Timesofindia.com in an interview before IPL 2020 began.KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal (Image Credit: IPL)
This time in IPL 2020, KXIP have played three matches so far in the Emirates and KL Rahul has opened with Mayank Agarwal in all of them. The Punjab outfit won only one match and lost the other two games narrowly- one in a Super Over against Delhi Capitals and the other to Rajasthan Royals after Rahul Tewatia provided fireworks at the end as KXIP failed to defend 223.
Mayank Agarwal's exploits with the bat at the top of the order as he scored 221 runs in 3 innings with one century and one fifty have meant that the franchise hasn't needed the services of Chris Gayle. KL Rahul had earlier said after the tournament started that Chris Gayle will come in at the right time.
Chris Gayle And KL Rahul Understand Each Other' Game Very Well
Chris Gayle is a very popular cricketer across the world and has a big fan following in India as well. IPL fans are eagerly waiting to witness a Chris Gayle storm in the UAE soon and it will be interesting to see when the man who holds the record for the maximum sixes and centuries in the IPL makes the playing XI of KXIP.
'I try to learn a lot from him (Gayle). We share a good friendship and that's what came out in the middle in the last two seasons. He is somebody who is such an impact player, such a match-winner for whatever team he has played. Like I said he is very intimidating and takes down (the) opposition on a given day. I have enjoyed the partnership with him. We understand each other's game very well.' Rahul told TimesofIndia.com before IPL 2020 began.KL Rahul. Photo Credit: IPL/BCCI.
KL Rahul, who is the highest run-getter in IPL 2020 so far, with 222 runs in three matches at an astonishing average of 111, including one century and one half-century, had also spoken about his happiness to be back after a long gap. The IPL was scheduled to start on March 29, but due to the deadly coronavirus pandemic, the cash-rich league was suspended till April and then postponed before finally kicking off on September 19 in Abu Dhabi.
'On being asked how he motivated himself and remained focused during the lockdown and what the batting session was like Rahul told TimesofIndia.com at that time: 'We all enjoyed the time off the game as much as possible.
'I was doing regular exercises and training at home to get physically stronger. I had chats with coaches and trainers and asked them what should be done to improve in terms of fitness.'
'Before coming here (UAE), I had again a few sessions in Bangalore and that really helped. Luckily, we got three weeks of training time in UAE as well ahead of the tournament to ensure that we get enough training sessions,' the KXIP skipper signed off.
KL Rahul finished as the second-highest run-getter in 2019 with 593 runs in 14 matches at an average of 53.90, including six fifties and one century, while Chris Gayle scored 490 runs in 13 matches, including an unbeaten 99.