Deep Dasgupta, a former Indian wicketkeeper-batsman, believes the Punjab Kings missed a trick by not starting Chris Gayle in place of Mayank Agarwal against the Mumbai Indians on Tuesday. Dasgupta told Cricinfo’s ‘Time Out’ that the KL Rahul-led team should have batted Chris Gayle and Aiden Markram ahead of Mandeep Singh, who was playing for the first time in a long time. “In hindsight (on whether Gayle should have opened), yes,” Dasgupta said, “but when you look at the batting order, you’ve got someone like Aiden Markram, who is more at home in these conditions against pace and bounce than someone like Mandeep Singh, who is coming off a long layoff.” ”
With Mayank Agarwal out of the MI game due to a niggle, the Punjab Kings went with Mandeep Singh and captain KL Rahul at the top of the order. However, Singh’s ruse backfired, as he only managed a 14-ball 15 against the defending champions.
Dasgupta added that because Rahul likes to take his time before shifting gears, PBKS should have replaced an injured Mayank Agarwal with Gayle at the top of the order. The team’s powerplay could have benefited from the presence of the big-hitting lefty.
“The way Punjab has approached it so far, it’s been KL Rahul, who wants to start slowly and then pick up the pace and try to bat until the end, versus Mayank Agarwal, who wants to start quickly and ensure that you build momentum. So, when Mayank went missing, you needed someone who was better suited for the job, and in this format, Chris Gayle is the best man for the job,” Dasgupta explained.
As it turned out, KL Rahul was unable to convert his promising start into a big score, as he was dismissed for a 21-ball 22 by Kieron Pollard. Pollard dismissed Gayle for a four-ball one, so he didn’t pose much of a threat to the scorers. PBKS eventually reached a respectable total of 135/6 thanks to Markram’s attacking 29-ball 42.
But it wаsn’t enough, аs Hаrdik Pаndyа (40* off 30 bаlls) аnd Kieron Pollаrd (15* off seven bаlls) led MI to а six-wicket victory.