Chris Gayle to play for Kings XI Punjab sooner rather than later

Chris Gayle

Kings XI Punjab batting coach Wasim Jaffer could not say exactly when Chris Gayle would be available for the Indian Premier League franchise, but he hopes it will be soon.

Jaffer says that franchise has missed his match-winning abilities despite the excellent performance of openers Mayank Agarwal and their leading run-scorer KL Rahul.

Gayle appearance imminent

The Kings XI batting coach said that Gayle was back in training and striking the ball as sweetly as ever.

“It should happen soon. As I said, it needs to happen sooner than later. We don’t want to bring them when every game is a must-win game. Hopefully, we will have those guys featuring soon,” Jaffer told news agency PTI from Dubai.

“He is such an impact player; we all know what he can do. I hope he turns up and turns it on straight away and changes the tide for all of us. He looks hungry, and that is a very good sign for the franchise.

“I am hoping he plays quickly. We need match-winners, as many as possible. Not just for the next game, also for the rest of the tournament as he can easily win you four-five games on his own,” he further said.

Jaffer is glad that he doesn’t have to make the final call on the playing XI with only four overseas professionals allowed to play at once.

Kings XI selection headaches

In their last outing Chris Jordan, Sheldon Cottrell, Glenn Maxwell and Nicholas Pooran took those slots. The bowlers Jordan and Cottrell should be safe, and it seems Maxwell will have to find form soon or face the axe.

 “KL (Rahul) and Mayank (Agarwal) has done most of the work so far (in batting). Pooran has been batting really well. Karun (Nair) had couple of chances, he didn’t do well so Mandeep (Singh) has come in,” Jaffer added.

“We obviously need Maxwell to fire. That is a tricky one, choosing the four overseas players. We got some time off, and we will put our mind to it if Gayle and Mujeeb come in, who will make way for them.

“Pooran is keeping also, so which are the other guys (that can be replaced). We will give our inputs to KL and Anil Bhai (head coach) and they will take the call. I am sure they know what is the best thing to do going forward,” he added.