Mumbai: Former cricketers Sunil Gavaskar and Kevin Pietersen were surprised to see Punjab Kings drop Chris Gayle from the playing XI. PBKS captain KL Rahul said that the four overseas players with whom the team went ahead for the 32nd match of IPL 2021 against Rajasthan Royals in Dubai are Nicholas Pooran, Adil Rashid, Aiden Markram and Fabian Allen.
Sunil Gavaskar said he was surprised to see Gayle not make it to the team. Referring to Universe Boss’s dominance in T20 leagues across the world, the former India captain feels the call is ‘zero sense’.
Pietersen, who interviewed Gayle before the start of the game, could not wrap his head around the fact that PBKS would drop Gayle from their team on the day of his birthday. Also Read: Babies Don’t Change Diapers As Frequently As PBKS Change Their Playing XI: Sehwag
“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 one of the star 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 om on his birthday, it makes zero sense,” explained Gavaskar.
“Some questions will be asked. I don’t understand why you would leave Chris Gayle on his birthday. If there was one game you were going to play, it was this. If he failed you could say ‘OK’ Yes, you can take some rest. So I don’t understand the thinking at all,” Pietersen said on Star Sports.
Gayle featured in all 8 matches for PBKS in the first half, scoring 178 runs at an average of 25.42 without a single half-century.
Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul innings of 67 and 49 respectively for the Punjab Kings went in vain as their middle order failed them miserably after such a good start. A sensational last over by Kartik Tyagi saw Rajasthan Royals defeating PBKS by 2 runs.