IPL 2021: Punjab Kings haven’t yet thought about opening role for Gayle – Agarwal

Punjab Kings’ stand-in captain Mayank Agarwal said the team management has not yet discussed if explosive Chris Gayle or Dawid Malan would open the innings alongside him in the absence of KL Rahul, who needs a surgery to treat acute appendicitis.

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Regular skipper Rahul is doubtful to rejoin the league anytime soon even as his team is expecting him to return to action within a week or 10 days after going under the knife in a Mumbai hospital.

Since the IPL is being held in a bio-secure bubble, there is a quarantine period that Rahul will have to serve if he does not get exemption. It may rule him out of the entire tournament, that will conclude on May 30.

“That’s something (Gayle or Malan) we have to to speak about but for the moment this is the strategy that we went with and we got a decent score. May be probably 10 runs short,” said Agarwal at the post-match press conference after losing to Delhi Capitals on Sunday night.

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Agarwal hit a majestic unbeaten 99 but his opening partner Prabhsimran Singh contributed only 15.

Gayle (13) and Malan (26) batted at number three and four respectively as Punjab lost the match by seven wickets after making 166 for six.

Agarwal was again non-commital when asked if overseas players can be reshuffled to let someone like Moises Henriques play regularly.

“That’s something we will think about, going ahead. With Delhi’s batting, we needed firepower to get the wickets, that was lacking. We back our bowlers to do that for us,” he said.

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Agarwal said it was not tough to play the captain’s role but admitted that the responsibility does change the approach towards the game.

“I had been kept in loop. Through the season we were there in meetings. There was enough time to prepare. We turned up decently, would have liked more aggression though.

“When you play as a batsman, you don’t think like a captain, you execute your role as a player. When you are captain and batting , you want to take extra responsibility,” he said.

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