With 9 new additions to the squad, Punjab Kings will arrive in IPL 2021 with an ambition to lift the trophy this time. In spite of Punjab Kings’ skipper KL Rahul winning the orange cap for hitting maximum runs, the team did not qualify for playoffs in IPL 2020. Punjab Kings settled on the 6th spot in the points table with 12 points. As a result, the franchisee released 9 players ahead of the IPL auction 2021.
With an available salary cap of 53.20 crores, PBKS bought 9 players in the IPL 2021 auction. Punjab Kings spent Rs. 14 crores to buy Australia pacer Jhye Richardson. The franchisee also bought Aussie bowler Riley Meredith for Rs. 8 crores. Shahrukh Khan was Punjab Kings’ another big purchase at Rs. 4.25 crore, followed by all-rounder Moises Henriques for Rs. 4.2 crore. PBKS also invested Rs. 1.5 crore to induct Dawid Malan into their team. With his brilliant batting form in T20Is, Malan has risen to the no. 1 spot in the T20I batsmen’s list.
All-rounders Fabian Allen (Rs. 75 lakh), Jalaj Saxena (Rs. 30 lakh), Saurabh Kumar (Rs. 20 lakh) and Utkarsh Singh (Rs. 20 lakh) also made their ways into Punjab Kings during IPL 2021 auction. In the last edition, Punjab Kings suffered a big issue for the opener’s slot. The team tried multiple combinations of openers to find a good result but nothing came out to be fruitful.
The team tested Mandeep Singh and Mayank Agarwal as opening partners to KL Rahul in the absence of Chris Gayle. Even after Chris Gayle’s arrival in the tournament, the franchisee shied away from using Chris Gayle as an opener. Here we will look at the best opening pair of Punjab Kings for IPL 2021.
IPL 2021: Opening Pair Of Punjab Kings- Chris Gayle and KL Rahul
Chris Gayle and KL Rahul will be the best opening pair for Punjab Kings in the forthcoming IPL 2021. The right hand-left hand combination will work in the favour of the team. Cricket fans have seen the might of Chris Gayle as an opener during his journey with Royal Challengers Bangalore. The ‘Universe Boss’ can comfortably hit massive sixes while batting, sending the team’s run rate to a sky-high.
Last season, Gayle played only 7 innings and scored 288 runs, which consisted of three fifties. He batted at a strike rate of 137+, with an average of 41.14. His highest score was 99 runs as he missed by one run to hit a century. Overall, the left-handed batsman Gayle has played 31 innings for Kings XI Punjab so far. At an average of 40.92, he has scored 1146 runs.
This consists of 1 century and 10 half-centuries. Rather than the one-down position at which Gayle arrived in IPL 2020, he should bat as an opener for Punjab Kings.
Talking about KL Rahul, the Punjab Kings skipper was marvellous during the last edition. KL Rahul smashed 670 runs in 14 innings to take away the orange cap in the tournament. He hit one century and 5 half-centuries in IPL 2020, giving his best performance in an IPL tournament.
At this impeccable form, KL Rahul needs a brilliant opening partner who can build the innings with him. Chris Gayle stands as the best option. KL Rahul and Chris Gayle’s pair as openers will bring a great advantage for Punjab Kings in IPL 2021.