Chris Gayle announced his arrival in style for Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League with a sensational half century that set the tone for his team’s victory. Playing his first game after going unsold in the IPL auctions, Gayle was at his brutal best as he smashed Chennai Super Kings all around the park after being introduced by Ravichandran Ashwin as his secret weapon in the big game. Gayle previously had the least impressive record but this time around he had the man by his side who he always succumbed to, Ashwin.
After witnessing the Gayle storm at the PCA Stadium in Mohali, KL Rahul issued a warning to other IPL teams and asserted that Gayle was back at his best which was a bad news for other teams in the competition. The powerful West Indies left-hander opened the innings with KL Rahul and the pair went all guns blazing on CSK bowlers posting 100 runs on board inside 9 overs. A 22-ball 50 was Gayle’s second fastest fifty in the IPL and he dedicated it to his children with a trademark celebration.
Hailing Gayle as a match winner who can be deadly on his day, KL Rahul said that the team wanted Gayle to carry this form further into the competition. “It is amazing news for our team and bad news for the other teams that Chris Gayle is hitting the ball well. We all know he is a player who can win games single-handedly and demolish attacks on his day and that’s what he did today. We want him and we expect him to continue this form forward,” Rahul said in the post-match press conference.
KL Rahul himself has been in top form in the ongoing campaign having slammed the fastest 50 in the history of the IPL in the opening encounter against Delhi Daredevils. The Karnataka batsman along with Gayle gave the home fans a fantastic batting show. After the Gayle storm was over, it was MS Dhoni who took over the show and proved writing him off in big games and pressure situations was never a good idea. The CSK captain combined well with Ambati Rayudu first to drag CSK’s innings without losing wickets and then upped the ante towards the end to bring the equation down to 17 required off the last over. In the end, though it was Ashwin who won the battle as Dhoni fell short by 4 runs eventually.
Talking about the plan when the CSK skipper was batting at his brilliant best dispatching the death bowlers out of the park, Rahul said the team knew about Dhoni’s injured back and targeted that with wide yorkers to ensure he didn’t go bonkers on Mohit Sharma. “The plan was to bowl wide yorkers at him because he was struggling with his back…but good back or bad back you pitch it in his arc and he is still going to hit it miles. It was good learning for our bowling attack, but still early stage in this IPL,” Rahul explained.