KL Rahul, the Punjab Kings captain, heaped rich praises for Chris Gayle after their victory over the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday, where Gayle smashed 46 runs off 24 balls providing the impetus in the middle-overs.
Even at the age of 41, KL Rahul believes, the left-hander is only getting better. Gayle was pushed to bat at number 3 since last season, as Punjab wanted Mayank Agarwal at the top alongside KL Rahul. The skipper applauds the West Indian for accepting this shift in his batting position as it provides better balance to the side, and takes some pressure off KL Rahul’s shoulders.
“There is a lot written about Gayle, about his age and whether he should be playing. But I know as a captain, just his impact he has when he walks out is huge,” KL Rahul told host broadcaster Star Sports after the match.
“I have played with him for 7-8 years and he keeps getting better and better. He is batting at three, something he hasn’t done ever in his career, but he’ll do that for the team. That’s the kind of man Chris is. He takes the pressure off me at the top,” he added.
We Were Preparing Brar For This Pitch: KL Rahul
KL Rahul also revealed that they had planned beforehand to introduce Harpreet Brar, the Man of the Match on Friday, specifically for the pitch in Ahmedabad. Brar had a dream game against RCB: he dismissed the trio of Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, and AB de Villiers after smashing 25 runs off 17 balls with the bat.
“We were preparing Brar. On a pitch like this, we felt like, we needed a finger spinner who could hit hard lengths. He did exactly that and batted really well in the end as well,” KL Rahul stated.
“I am young myself, but I have been trying to speak to the boys and pass on whatever experience I have of IPL and international cricket. They are blessed with enormous talent and we have to prepare them for the situations and the pressures they’d face in the middle as the captain and the support staff. Really makes me and the support staff very happy,” he further added.
With the 34-run victory over RCB, Punjab Kings moves up to the 5th position in the points table. They will next face the high-flying Delhi Capitals on Sunday.