Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has jotted down the ideal playing eleven for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Kings XI Punjab has some exciting players in their repertoire but need to stand up to help them improve from their lacklustre last season. KXIP, who finished sixth in the previous season, will begin their campaign against the Delhi Capitals on the 20th of September in Dubai.
Sunil Gavaskar began with Chris Gayle at the top, who he thinks makes a slow start in the tournament too and might find it challenging to score on spinning tracks. Gavaskar also understands if began the innings with a spinner, the Jamaican finds it difficult to adjust.
“They should give opportunities to Chris Gayle in the beginning. He makes a slightly slow start, even in the tournament he might make a slow start. And he might find it difficult on the slow pitches. Also everyone knows that if you confront Chris Gayle with a spinner at the start, he finds it a little difficult,” Gavaskar told Sports Tak.
Gavaskar stated that Gayle would use the pace against the fast bowlers to have some runs and maintain the left-right combination by blooding in KL Rahul. Since Gayle is experienced, the 70-year old backs him to get going if he clicks.
“Against fast bowlers, he uses their pace to hit the big sixes and fours. But I will still play him and he will also give the left-right opening combination with KL Rahul. And he has experience, if he clicks he will score runs quickly,” Sunil Gavaskar mentioned.
Sunil Gavaskar appointed Mayank Agarwal to bat at number three followed by Nicholas Pooran at number four. The 125-Test veteran opted for Sarfaraz Khan at number five, owing to his blistering domestic season in which he scored a triple and double century. He backs Sarfaraz to use the confidence he gained by performing well in the domestic circuit. The former right-handed batsman went ahead with Glenn Maxwell at number six and supported his promotion if the openers get off to a brisk start.
“At No.3, I will have Mayank Agarwal. At No.4, I will send Nicholas Pooran. He is another left-hander. At No.5, I will have Sarfaraz Khan because the form he has shown in the last season, the number of runs he scored, he even scored a triple century and a double century. The sort of confidence he has, I agree there have been 8-9 months since the end of that season, but he will be able to score a lot of runs because of that. At No.6, I have Glenn Maxwell who can be sent at No.4 as well. If Rahul and Gayle give a good start, then Maxwell can go at No.3 also,” the Mumbai-born stated.
Sunil Gavaskar picks only one overseas bowler in the department:
The 125-Test veteran had Afghanistan’s Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman in the bowling department, whose off-breaks will be crucial in the slow tracks. The two other spinners in the line-up were Murugan Ashwin and Ravi Bishnoi, who did exceedingly well in the U-19 World Cup this year. The fast bowlers were Mohammed Shami and Ishan Porel, who is yet another young speedster.
“I will play Mujeeb because the pitches will be slow and he can bowl well on those pitches. Mohammed Shami has to be there. Ravi Bishnoi, who was there in the under-19 team, I will play him in the beginning because he will not have that much pressure and expectations of him then but if you play him later, he might feel the pressure. I will also play Murugan Ashwin and Ishan Porel, another young player,” he added further.