'He would have gotten a hundred': Gautam Gambhir wants Chris Gayle to open for Punjab Kings in IPL 2021
- IPL 2021: Gautam Gambhir is not convinced with Chris Gayle's batting position in the Punjab Kings line-up, and insists that the Big-hitting West Indian batsman is better suited to open the batting than bat at No. 3.
Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir does not think the time has come for Punjab Kings to leave out Chris Gayle from the playing XI. Gayle began the IPL 2021 with an innings of 40 against Rajasthan Royals but has since gone flat, producing scores of 10, 11 and 15 batting at No. 3.
PBKS have in their ranks England batsman Dawid Malan, the No. 1 T20I batsman in the world, who could possibly replace him but Gambhir feels there is 'no comparison' between the two batsmen, insisting that PBKS persist with Gayle for their match against Mumbai Indians on Friday.
"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," Gambhir said on ESPNCricinfo.
Gambhir is not convinced with Gayle's batting position in the Punjab Kings line-up, and insists that the Big-hitting West Indian batsman is better suited to open the batting than bat at No. 3. Since IPL 2020, Gayle is batting at No. 3 with KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal sharing the opening responsibilities. However, Gambhir reckons the more time Gayle spends in the middle, the better equipped he will be to get a big 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 capitalised, 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.