Mumbai: Former India opener Gautam Gambhir is of the opinion that West Indies batting legend Chris Gayle is still a very dangerous player and in order to make full use of his attacking play, teams will have to use him as an opener. Talking about his position in the batting order, Gambhir said that it doesn’t make sense to him when West Indies or Punjab Kings make him bat at no. 3 as Gayle has the potential to take his team off to a flyer and waste fewer balls while batting at the top of the order.Also Read - IPL Returns as Precursor to T20 World Cup
“He has to open the batting. If Chris Gayle is in your team, then why would you want him to bat at number three. It makes no sense for anyone to put Chris Gayle at number three. West Indies did that, Punjab Kings did that. I have no clue why someone would do that,” said Gambhir on Star Sports. Also Read - IPL 2021: Virat Kohli Heaps Praise on Hasaranga and Chameera as RCB Unveil Blue Jersey
“If Chris is in your playing 11, he has to open the batting because he is not going to waste balls. Probably at number three, he will have to run for a lot of singles, as compared to opening the batting. He could probably get you off to a flyer,” added Gambhir. Also Read - IPL 2021: Virender Sehwag Picks Four Players he Will be Intently Watching in UAE
The 39-year-old felt that Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni will find it difficult to score runs quickly when coming out to bat, especially after retiring from international cricket.
“MS was a player who would’ve actually batted at number 4 or 5 but we’ve seen in the first leg that he normally bats at number 6 or 7. There are times when he’s actually pushed Sam Curran before him as well. The reason behind this is that he’s probably trying to be a mentor and a wicketkeeper, who can lead the side and keep wickets. If the situation comes to a point where he probably has to play 8 or 10 balls, he can just go out there and whack them.”
“It’s going to be difficult for him, because once you are not playing international cricket; IPL is a very difficult tournament, it’s not like CPL and other leagues. IPL is where you face top-quality bowlers. For me, I think the biggest challenge for CSK will be that the top order needs to fire because that’s not the case anymore,” added Gambhir.
(With IANS Inputs)