Former India opener and Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir believes Chennai Super Kings will need to focus on getting their batting order right in the upcoming second half of the Indian Premier League 2021 season.
Speaking on Star Sports’ show Game Plan, Gambhir shared his views on why CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni batted lower down the order in the first half of IPL 2021.
“MS was a player who would’ve actually batted at No 4 or 5 but we’ve seen in the first leg that he normally bats at number 6 or 7,” said Gambhir. “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.”
He added: “It’s going to be difficult for him, because once you are not playing international cricket; IPL is a very difficult tournament, its 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.”
Gambhir also spoke about why he thinks Royal Challengers Bangalore have not won the IPL title yet.
“He [RCB skipper Virat Kohli] has got people like AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell, which is a huge cushion to have,” said Gambhir. “Even if it’s not Maxwell, AB is a massive cushion because there is only one person who can take on someone like Jasprit Bumrah and it was AB de Villiers. I have not seen anyone else who has don’t it that consistently against Jasprit Bumrah, but AB is a freak because.”
He added: “But yes obviously, from Virat’s standard they would want to go out and dominate the opposition, especially in the IPL. There’s international cricket where you’ve got five or six top international bowlers, you don’t have that in the IPL. You probably get two or three international bowlers and then you’ve got domestic bowlers as well, whom you could dominate. So, probably there’s a lot of pressure on Virat and AB as well, which could be one of the reasons and year after year, if you don’t win that title the pressure keeps on increasing as well.”
Gambhir strongly believes that Chris Gayle should open for Punjab Kings during the second leg of IPL 2021.
“He has to open the batting,” said Gambhir. “If Chris Gayle is in your team, then why would you want him to bat at No 3. It makes no sense for anyone to put Chris Gayle at No 3. West Indies did that, Punjab Kings did that. I have no clue why someone would do that.”
He added: “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.”
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