Former Indian opener, Virender Sehwag, has weighed in on Chris Gayle’s last-minute buy in the Indian Premier League on Sunday, saying the T20 specialist is just a back-up opener for his eventual destination, the Kings XI Punjab.
Sehwag, who is the Kings XI’s team director and mentor, indicated Gayle has a massive brand and could prove important to his team, but that, for now, he wasn’t expected to play.
“We decided to bring in Gayle as a backup option for the opening slots,” said Sehwag.
However, the little left-hander, a powerhouse himself, is well aware that Gayle, even after a few lean spells in the IPL, can still be a dangerous prospect.
“Simply having him (Gayle) in your side means a lot. Being an opening batsman, Gayle can prove to be a danger to any opposition,” said Sehwag.
“Gayle’s brand value speaks for himself and how effective he is in this format.”
Gayle has played in 324 T20 matches to date, scoring an impressive 11,068 runs at an average of 40.69 with a strike rate of 148.98. He has 20 centuries and 67 half centuries, however, has not been at his best lately.
In 2016’s IPL, playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, he scored just 227 runs from 10 innings at an average of 22.7 with a highest score of 76, while last season his highest was 77 but he only had an aggregate of 200 at an average of 22.22.
In the IPL, Gayle has scored 3692 runs from 98 matches at an average of 42.43. His strike rate is 154.34 and he has five centuries and 23 half-centuries.