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Virender Sehwag explains Kings XI Punjab’s decision to buy Chris Gayle

Virender Sehwag, director and mentor of Kings XI Punjab, explains the rationale behind swooping in for Chris Gayle at the last minute of the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction after the explosive West Indian had twice gone unsold.

cricket Updated: Jan 29, 2018 19:13 IST
Bihan Sengupta
Bihan Sengupta
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Chris Gayle‬,‪Virender Sehwag‬,‪Kings XI Punjab‬
Virender Sehwag (L) and Ness Wadia in deep discussion during day 2 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction in Bangalore on the 27th January 2018. (IPL / SPORTZPICS)

Imagining a T20 tournament without Chris Gayle is quite an unthinkable task owing to what he brings to the table. (IPL auction highlights)

His flamboyant stroke play, ability to ruthlessly tear down the opposition and pile up tall totals is what makes him a unique package up in the order. (Indian Premier League squads and salaries - full list)

However, at 38, he’s not getting any younger and his magic seems to be on the slide as well.

That perhaps explains why he was snubbed for the first two times in the auction before Kings XI Punjab swooped him up for ₹2 crore, his base price. Kings XI Punjab boast of a strong batting squad this season and Gayle only adds as a cherry on top.

Explaining the move to bring in the player at the eleventh hour, former India batsman Virender Sehwag, who’s now the director and mentor of KXIP, told “Simply having him (Gayle) in your side means a lot. Being an opening batsman, Gayle can prove to be a danger to any opposition.”

Kings XI Punjab have a decent batting unit this year. Besides Gayle, they have Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis and David Miller among a few other foreign recruits.

Their stellar Indian options include that of Yuvraj Singh, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul and Karun Nair as well.

However,it will be interesting to see how the KXIP think-tank uses him.

Giving an early indication that the Caribbean star might not play a part in all the games, Sehwag further went on to add: “Gayle’s brand value speaks for himself and how effective he is in this format. We decided to bring in Gayle as a back-up option for the opening slots.”

First Published: Jan 29, 2018 16:50 IST