IPL 2020: Chris Gayle a smart player, not many understand this about big-hitter, says Sachin Tendulkar

IPL 2020: Chris Gayle a smart player, not many understand this about big-hitter, says Sachin Tendulkar

Batting great and former India captain Sachin Tendulkar heaped rich praise on Chris Gayle, saying not many understand that the Kings XI Punjab big-hitter is a smart operator and a clever guy. Tendulkar said the West Indies big-hitter doesn’t go after every bowler but targets certain ones and understands the nature of pitch before stepping on the gas.

Sachin Tendulkar, speaking in a video on his social media, pointed out how Chris Gayle went after Tushar Deshpande in Kings XI Punjab’s win over Delhi Capitals. Gayle hit Deshpande for 26 runs and hit a 13-ball 29 to give KXIP the much-needed early impetus in their successful chase of 165 after they had lost their top-scorers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal early.

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“When it comes to Gayle, people only talk about his big-hitting that everyone knows. Many guys don’t know one thing that Gayle is a very very smart player. He is a big-hitter no doubt, but he is a smart player and a clever guy,” Tendulkar said.

“When he finds (a bowler) threatening, who could get him out, he is prepared to play even sometimes an over where an odd single is scored. Then he will target one or two bowlers.

“The other day, he targeted Tushar Deshpande and scored 26 runs off his over. So Gayle is a smart player. So, don’t think Gayle is going to go out at every ball, he doesn’t do that.

“He understands the surface, he reads the pace and the bounce of the surface and what the bowler is good at and when he realizes there is a bowler whom he can target, he goes all out after them and that would be the strategy throughout the tournament because that is what I have noticed throughout. He is a smart guy.”

Gayle has brought a lot of energy to the team: Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar also believes Chris Gayle’s inclusion has provided the Kings XI Punjab with much-needed freedom and energy. Gayle was benched for KXIP’s first 7 games of IPL 2020 wherein they won only one. Since his inclusion, KXIP have gone on to win 3 in 3.

Gayle has provided the liberty to KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal the freedom to go out and express themselves in the powerplay. Before Gayle’s inclusion in the playing XI, Rahul had issues with his strike rate but that has been taken care of with the KXIP captain striking it quicker than ever.

“Well, he has brought a lot of energy in the team and there are certain players with the way they play, their style, the statement they make with the hard-hitting shots. It has a positive impact on the team and that is exactly what has happened. Although I know KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal have been batting well. Nicholas Pooran is another dangerous guy and the addition of Chris Gayle makes a dangerous batting line-up,” Tendulkar said.

“So, it’s not over yet. You never know, in this format, you only need the momentum to take you forward and Gayle has managed to do that for the team and with the other guys in the team, it’s not over yet for Kings XI Punjab. The energy that the dressing room brings after the victories, three back to back victories is infectious.”

Having won 3 on the trot against the likes of Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore, KXIP are well-placed in the race to the play-offs. KXIP, who have 8 points from 10\ games, take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in a crucial clash on Saturday.

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