Chris Gayle must play in the XI instead of Shane Watson: Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly feels that Gayle has a big part to play in RCB's quest of reaching the play-offs.

Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle. (Photo Source: BCCI)

After suffering 4 defeats in five games, which is the most by any team, and no wonder they are at the bottom of the table, RCB needs to resuscitate their campaign soon if they want to feature in the Playoffs this year. The come-back of Virat Kohli hasn’t helped their cause one bit as their performance has got from bad to worse.

Speaking to India Today, former India captain Sourav Ganguly said that bringing back Gayle in the XI is crucial for their campaign.


“What they need to think is that they need to find a way to get Chris Gayle back into the team, Gayle has to play in the IPL. Yes they have had a little bit of a tough time, I know they are trying to get Shane Watson play as an all-rounder but Watson has done nothing and he looks like a patch of his old self and maybe there can be a case of swapping him with Gayle at the top of the order. De Villiers can come down at No. 5 or 6 and finish the innings. They need to shuffle a bit because they have gone exactly the way they did last season.”

Interestingly, RCB were in a similar situation last year too when they lost 5 games out of 7 before winning 6 out of their last 7 to eventually reach the finals. They rode on Virat Kohli’s 4 centuries for a remarkable turnaround but Kohli himself admitted that RCB can’t hope that to happen every year.

“It is not going to be easy, they have to find their form and play very very well but even last year they did not start well but then dominated the last 7-8 matches to make it to the final so it is a similar situation for them.

The good thing for them is that Virat Kohli looks in good touch but they are missing KL Rahul and missing the form of Gayle and Watson. They have to get their combination right and start playing differently because they are in a position like the Pune team where they do not want it to slip away too far that it becomes difficult for them. It is still early days in the IPL and all the teams are close and no team is too far ahead so RCB has time to get back”, Sourav said.

RCB have lost two consecutive games at home, one against Pune while chasing and the other while defending a total against Mumbai Indians. The wickets this season at the M Chinnaswamy are on the slower side compared to last year. The highest score in an innings so far on this ground has been 161 runs, by Pune the other night, which was too much for the home side to chase as they fell short by 27 runs. On the other hand, the average first innings total was 197 last year. Maybe it is a part of RCB’s plan to produce low-scoring surfaces of which Ganguly wasn’t sure about.

“Virat Kohli has got to be careful because I do not think they are playing on a good surface at the Chinnaswamy stadium. They need to play on a good wicket because they are a power-packed side with the likes of Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers, Kedar Jadhav so I don’t think they can perform so poorly. It has not worked for them because they missed too many players at the start of the tournament and lost those games.”

Kohli is wary of the perils of starting slowly. They need to get their acts together before it is too late for them. They have to figure out their best combination and back them instead of chopping and changing every game.

RCB now head to Rajkot to play another struggling unit: the Gujarat Lions scheduled for Tuesday. The wicket at Rajkot is the flattest going around in India and RCB’s power-packed batting unit must look to use it to their advantage.