Opener Lokesh Rahul, the opening batsman in Kings XI Punjab has shot a red sign of warning to rivals in the IPL. He says, “Beware of Gayle as he is back in his aggressive form.” Playing his season’s first game, Gayle hit another fastest fifty in IPL, off 22 balls, to lead Kings XI Punjab to win by just four runs against Chennai Super Kings last night.
Rahul, who has been in great form himself, said to the media before match, “It’s great news for Punjab and sad news for others that one of our kings is back to hit the ball well. This player can win the games single handedly and can knock down the attacks on his day and it is why he did now. We expect and want him to keep going with his form ahead.”
Gayle went unsold not so long ago in the auction two times before Kings XI Punjab grabbed him up for INR 2 Cr. of base price and they paid the same amount for Yuvraj. Kings will play their next game at home ground versus Sunrisers Hyderabad.
When it comes to the plans against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rahul added, “This IPL is about best vs. best. But we will stick to what we have planned. We will be there with our strengths and see where we can improve.”
“No matter which team we face, our plans will be simple and we will go and play in great form.”
When it comes to choosing to bat first and setting target for opposition, he added, “If you are going to bat first as opener, you give a few overs to yourself and see what’s the wicket is going on and assess what a good score would be on that wicket and you can plan well.”
He added, “When it comes to the wicket, I don’t feel anyone can tell wicket will behave a specific way. Despite the fact that it is the game at our home ground, we will still know what wicket seems to be. Once we play a few overs, we decide what a suited target on that wicket may be.”
Skipper M S Dhoni took his side CSK over the line by scoring 79 runs off 44 balls. When asked what was the plan for him to contain Dhoni, Rahul added, “We have planned to bowl Yorkers on him as he has problem with his back. But you pitch it in his arc, whether his back is good or not, he can still hit it. For our bowling attack, it was good for learning but still early in IPL.”
According to Stephen Fleming, CSK head coach, Gayle played well and it made a huge change. He said, “CSK also played well to limit the score to under 200 as KXIP seemed to reach 220 or above at one stage. Hence, the character was very good for the second half of the bowling innings. We were capable to get wickets of some sort and get some pressure.”