IPL 2020: Sunil Gavaskar names his Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) Playing XI

IPL 2020: Sunil Gavaskar names his Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) Playing XI

The former India opener picked Australia's Glenn Maxwell as the last middle-order batsman in his ideal KXIP line-up.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

The much-awaited IPL 2020 is only a day away from its inception. After many delays, the T20 extravaganza is finally set to commence in the UAE on September 19th, with the season-opener between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.

Ahead of the start of the cash-rich league, many former players have been rolling out their predictions on social media. Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar also carried out the exercise of picking the strongest possible line-up of an IPL side. He named his ideal playing XI for the Kings XI Punjab, led by Karnataka stalwart KL Rahul.

During an interaction on Sports Tak, Gavaskar said that he would like KXIP to open the batting with Chris Gayle, even though the West Indies giant might struggle a bit to find rhythm on slow the UAE tracks.

“They should give opportunities to Chris Gayle in the beginning. He makes a slightly slow start, even in the tournament he might make a slow start. And he might find it difficult on the slow pitches. Also, everyone knows that if you confront Chris Gayle with a spinner at the start, he finds it a little difficult,” said Gavaskar.

I will have Sarfaraz Khan because of his recent form: Sunil Gavaskar

Gavaskar mentioned that he will slot skipper KL Rahul to open the innings with Gayle, followed by Mayank Agarwal and Nicholas Pooran as the No.3 and No.4 positions respectively. At the No.5 slot, Gavaskar picked youngster Sarfaraz Khan due to his terrific form in the last domestic season.

“At No.5, I will have Sarfaraz Khan because the form he has shown in the last season, the number of runs he scored, he even scored a triple century and a double century. The sort of confidence he has, I agree there have been 8-9 months since the end of that season, but he will be able to score a lot of runs because of that,” Gavaskar further said.

The former India opener picked Australia’s Glenn Maxwell as the last middle-order batsman in his ideal KXIP line-up. Talking about the bowling force, Gavaskar opted for Mujeeb Ur Rahman. Mujeeb is likely to get good results on UAE pitches. Gavaskar also picked Ravi Bishnoi as one of the other spinners, considering the youngster’s impressive show at the recent Under-19 World Cup.

“Ravi Bishnoi, who was there in the under-19 team, I will play him in the beginning because he will not have that much pressure and expectations of him then but if you play him later, he might feel the pressure,” he said.

To finish things off, Gavaskar slotted the trio of Mohammed Shami, Murugan Ashwin and Ishan Porel. He also termed Shami as an obvious pick as a pacer in the KXIP squad.

Here’s the video: