Former Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir believes that the KL Rahul-led Punjab Kings should persist with Chris Gayle despite his lack of returns in the last three games.
Chris Gayle started off IPL 2021 with a 28-ball 40 but since then he has managed scores of 10, 11, and 15 while batting at No.3.
There have been murmurs that Punjab Kings should replace Gayle with the No.1 ranked T20I batsman Dawid Malan. But Gautam Gambhir believes that there is no comparison between the duo and given the fact that Malan struggles against spin, PBKS should persist with Chris Gayle for the upcoming clash against Mumbai Indians in Chennai.
“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. 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,” Gautam Gambhir said on ESPNCricinfo.
Gambhir also reckoned that Chris Gayle should start opening the batting as he can make the most of the powerplay- a prime requisite in Chennai- and if he gets set then he can go on and convert it into a three-figure score.
“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,” Gambhir added.
Having lost their last three games, Punjab Kings will be desperate for a comeback when they lock horns with Mumbai Indians in Chennai on Friday.