IPL 2020: Sachin Tendulkar ‘wonders’ why KXIP left Chris Gayle out for their first seven games

Gayle scored a half-century to kickstart his journey in the tournament.

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Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Sachin Tendulkar, the former Indian cricketer, was a tad surprised after Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) didn’t include Chris Gayle in their playing eleven for their first seven matches of the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL). The Punjab-based franchise had lost six out of their first seven games and tottered at the bottom of the points table. Despite playing well, the team weren’t able to get past the winning line.

After seeing their campaign in the shambles, the Mohali-based franchise decided to include the Jamaican in the playing eleven. It was against his former IPL team, Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Thursday, October 15 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Chris Gayle showing his class

He was under a lot of pressure after he played his first competitive match back in January in the 2019-20 Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). There he played for the Chattogram Challengers in their match against Andre Russell’s Rajshahi Royals, also the champions, in the second qualifier at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

As far as Thursday’s match was concerned, the 41-year-old scored 53 runs off 45 balls with the help of one four and five sixes. He was a tad scratchy to start with, but once he got the measure of the conditions and the RCB bowling, there was no stopping him. In the meantime, Master Blaster Sachin also lauded him for the wonderful knock.

He also reckoned that the Universe Boss should have played in the earlier matches as well. “Good to see  @henrygayle back and scoring a wonderful 53. Wonder what @lionsdenkxip were thinking by leaving him out all this while. #RCBvKXIP #IPL2020.”

Here’s Sachin’s tweet:

Gayle was eventually run out in the 20th over of the Kings’ run-chase. KL Rahul, KXIP’s captain, tried to steal a single, and Gayle was found short at the striker’s end. Chasing 172, the match went right down to the last ball as Yuzvendra Chahal conceded only one run off the first five deliveries.

Nicholas Pooran, playing his first ball of the game, smashed Chahal downtown for a six and took his team over the finishing hurdle. Head coach Anil Kumble was ecstatic in the dugout, rather relieved after his team’s second win of the tournament.

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