IPL 2021, PBKS vs RR: Sunil Gavaskar And Kevin Pietersen Astonished At Punjab Kings' Decision To Not Play Chris Gayle Against Rajasthan Royals
IPL 2021: Chris Gayle, who turned 42 on Tuesday, has so far scored 178 runs in 8 matches this season for PBKS.
- PBKS selected Aiden Markram in the playing XI in place of Chris Gayle
- Gayle has scored 178 runs in 8 matches in IPL 2021
- West Indies great Chris Gayle turned 42 on Tuesday
Punjab Kings, on Tuesday, decided to not include veteran West Indies batsman Chris Gayle in their playing XI for the crunch match against Rajasthan Royals. PBKS went ahead with Nicholas Pooran, Aiden Markram, Adil Rashid and Fabian Allen as the four overseas players for the match. PBKS captain KL Rahul won the toss and decided to bowl. He said that South African Markram would bat at number 3, the spot where Gayle generally bats for the team. "No brainer, fresh wicket, don't know how it will play. I personally prefer chasing. It's good to be back in Dubai. We've had a lot of learnings from playing here last time. Lot of guys were playing international cricket, but we are all professionals and have done our best to prepare. Pooran, Markram, Adil Rashid, Fabian Allen. Markram will bat No. 3, unfortunately Chris Gayle misses out," Rahul said.
Gayle, who turned 42 on Tuesday, has scored 178 runs in 8 matches this season for PBKS. PBKS' decision to not play Gayle in the match left former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen baffled.
"I think he will be disappointed more than us. We can talk about it. There will be some questions asked. I don't understand why you would leave Chris Gayle out on his birthday. I explained how much emotion he has and how excited he was. He was sporting a big smile. If there was one game you were going to play him, it was today. I can't understand the thinking at all," Pietersen said during the pre-match show on host broadcaster Star Sports.
Indian cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar also expressed his astonishment at the decision.
"I, like KP, am absolutely astonished that Chris Gayle is not playing today. The four overseas players that have been picked today, can play brilliantly and win the game for Punjab Kings today.
"But the fact remains that on your birthday, you are leaving out one of the stellar players of T20 format. Not just in IPL - the CPL, the Big Bash. You name it, every single T20 league he has dominated. And you drop him for this game on his birthday, it makes zero sense," explained Gavaskar.
Gayle comes into the UAE leg of the tournament after scoring 165 runs in 9 matches in the Caribbean Premier League at a strike-rate of less than 130. His highest score in the tournament was 42.