The IPL is the kind of tournament where no cricketer’s place is safe in the Playing XI, irrespective of the reputation he carries. How else do you justify the fact that the likes of Imran Tahir, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell McClenaghan and even Mitchell Santner are yet to play a game in IPL 2020?
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Heck, even a fine all-rounder like James Neesham has gotten limited chances, while the fans were in for a bit of a shocker when Kings XI Punjab made Chris Gayle – considered by many the best T20 player of all time – sit out the first seven matches of this year’s IPL, all of which KXIP lost barring one. Gayle was supposed to play KXIP’s fifth match – against Sunrisers Hyderabad – but his wait extended after being hit by a stomach bug. During his stay at the hospital, Gayle posted a picture of him chilling on hospital bed.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly weighed in on how it must have felt for Gayle to sit out those many games of the tournament first up. Gayle, who hadn’t played a match since January this year, finally played his first match of IPL 2020 against RCB, scoring a half-century. KXIP has won all the matches Gayle has played for them this year and even though the big-hitting batsman may have appeared all happy and chilled out, Ganguly reckons it did hurt Gayle that he wasn’t an automatic selection in the team anymore.
“We all think Chris Gayle keeps laughing and roaming but it pinched him that he has been made to sit out. These are the things to see and learn from. IPL is just too much competition,” Ganguly said while talking to Star Sports.
The former Kolkata Knight Riders captain, Ganguly was in awe of some individual brilliance in this edition from IPL. Refraining from picking one stand out moment, Ganguly was impressed by the way some of the players have fared this year.
“I think the entire tournament is wow. I can’t pick one moment from it. KL Rahul’s batting, Shikhar Dhawan’s batting, some of the fielding, Jasprit Bumrah’s bowling, the way Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada have bowled, the way Mohammad Shami has bowled. Mayank Agarwal’s batting in this format,” he said.