Former India and Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Anil Kumble believes the Bangalore-based franchise would be cautious with using going for Chris Gayle at the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, which will be held in the Garden City on January 27 and 28.
While Gayle is arguably the best T20 batsman of this generation, the Royal Challengers’ decision to not retain him did not come as a huge surprise. The most decorated batsmen in the history of the shortest format of the game, Gayle looked like a pale shadow of his usual self in the last edition of the Indian Premier League.
Such was his form that he even warmed the bench on more than one occasion and whenever he got the chance, he failed to his axing wrong.
In 9 games, Chris Gayle managed a modest total 200 runs at a below-par average of 22.22. Before that, he had also struggled to get going in the Pakistan Super League. The string of low scores might have prompted the Royal Challengers not to retain the giant Jamaican.
However, the former West Indies skipper showed his devastating form in the recently concluded Bangladesh Premier League.
After a lukewarm start to the tournament, the hard-hitting opener scored a staggering 275 runs in the last three games which saw him finish the tournament as the leading run-getter and help his side Rangpur Riders lift the trophy for the first time.
The left-handed batsman had scored an unbeaten 126 in the eliminator against Khulna Titans and followed it with an unbeaten 146 in the final against Dhaka Dynamites.
But while Gayle’s timely knocks might have planted seeds of doubt in the Royal Challengers team management’s mind, Kumble feels the team will be cautious while going for the two time World T20 winner in the auction. Royal Challengers have a chance to buy back Gayle through Right to Match card.
“Possibly they [RCB] will be cautious. They have to build the entire team as well. If you looked at last year, Gayle did not play in a couple of matches for RCB. It was not because he was injured or something, he was not picked. That’s a giveaway on whether they will go after him at the auction,” Kumble said during Star Sports’ analysis show “Game Plan – The Marquee List” on Saturday (January 20).
“However, he has shown he can win games single-handedly. I think there will be other franchises who will be looking for him. But all of them will be a bit cautious. However, he is currently in good form. But I am not too sure if RCB will use the RTM for Gayle,” he added.
Meanwhile, Chris Gayle has set his base price at Rs 2 crore and is part of the first set of marquee players who will go up for bidding during the auction. Royal Challengers have retained Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Sarfaraz Khan.
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