Legendary West Indian batsman Brian Lara expressed his ‘disappointments’ at Kings XI Punjab’s team selection for their IPL 2020 match against Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Lara said KXIP should have included Chris Gayle in their Playing XI against KKR. They instead, dropped left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell and brought England’s all-rounder Chris Jordan back in the side.
“I’m really disappointed (that Gayle is not there). Chris Gayle is a fear factor… We’ve seen Jordan, has not been very good in the IPL so far, I’m not saying he’s a bad player but I think packing the batting with Chris Gayle is something that they should’ve done,” said Lara on the pre-match show at Star Sports.
KXIP decided to retain Maxwell and Lara said he doesn’t really have a problem with that. He said KXIP should have included Gayle in place of Cottrell and trusted their Indian bowling line-up to do the job.
“Imagine a batting line-up with KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal and Glenn Maxwell, they could chase down anything. So yes Cottrell out and I’d bring Chris Gayle in and trust my Indian bowling attack,” Lara added.
Gayle who holds a number of records in T20s including the most runs and most sixes is yet to play a game in this Indian Premier League.
KXIP head coach, Anil Kumble, however, had stated that they wanted to include Gayle in the Playing XI in their previous match against SRH but had to change the plans as Gayle was sick.
“Today we wanted Chris Gayle in the playing XI but unfortunately he’s sick,” Kumble told the host broadcasters during the SRH innings.
When Mark Nicholas had questioned Kumble about Gayle again, the former India captain and head coach said: “Yeah Gayle was going to play but he is down with food poisoning for the last of a couple of days.”
There was no official word on Gayle’s health from KXIP before the start of their match against KKR.
Meanwhile, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Saturday opted to bat first after winning the toss. made one change to their playing XI from their last match against Chennai Super Kings. The Dinesh Karthik-led side brought in Prasidh Krishna in place of Shivam Mavi.
KKR Playing XI: Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (c), Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Prasidh Krishna, Pat Cummins, Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy.
KXIP Playing XI: KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Prabhsimran Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Mandeep Singh, Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman, Mohammad Shami, Chris Jordon, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh.