New Delhi: Even though Chris Gayle and KL Rahul have been on a roll at the top for Kings XI Punjab — one of the primary reasons for the success the franchise has achieved this season — one bowler who has managed to dismiss these two over the years is current Rajasthan Royals pacer Dhawal Kulkarni. The pacer has dismissed both the batsmen thrice in the cash-rich league.
While the pacer has dismissed the Universe Boss thrice in 31 balls, giving away just 35 runs to one of the most-feared batsman in world cricket. Against Rahul, the pacer has dismissed him thrice in 18 balls, giving away just 28 runs. In fact, Gayle has a strike-rate of just 112.90 against the pacer while Rahul’s strike-rate reads slightly better at 155.56.
Chris Gayle has been in a formidable form this season, managing to score at an average of 77.50, his best in any season of the IPL. He has managed 25 sixes this season, only MS Dhoni has hit more sixes this season (27). But things don’t look that good when it comes to the Universe Boss and his tryst with Rajasthan Royals in the cash-rich league.
He has failed to cross the 20-run mark just once this season, which came in the last game against the Rajasthan Royals. He has struggled historically against Rajasthan Royals as well, managing just 290 runs in 12 innings. In fact, his 290 runs in 12 innings against Rajasthan Royals is his lowest tally of runs against any side with whom he has played a minimum of 10+ innings. His average of 29.00 against Rajasthan Royals is also his worst against any side (Min 5 innings). He hasn’t been able to score freely against the Royals as well. He has an SR of 121.34 against them, his lowest against any IPL opponent.
Desperate to stay alive in the IPL, bottom-placed Rajasthan Royals will aim to avenge Sunday's six-wicket loss to Kings XI Punjab, when the two sides face off on Tuesday. The Ajinkya Rahane-led side succumbed to their third loss in a row, after being hammered by Punjab at the Holkar Stadium in Indore on Sunday and now need to win all their remaining five matches to keep themselves alive in the tournament.