Taking to Twitter, KXIP posted a photo which read: “Dance like @henrygayle 😛 #LivePunjabiPlayPunjabi #KXIP #DDvKXIP”
The most compelling performances in the IPL last week undoubtedly came from Chris Gayle and Shane Watson. Their explosive centuries not only decimated opponents, but also served a reminder that in T20, age is but a number.
Gayle will be 39 this September, Watson 37 in June. Both were considered long in the tooth, and not `hot picks’ when the IPL auctions took place in January. Ironically, both were off-loaded by RCB, who are now wallowing in the bottom half of the points table.
Watson was eventually bought by CSK for Rs 4 crore, but Gayle had an agonising, suspense laden-path in the auction till the very last round when he was bought by Kings XI Punjab for his base price of Rs 2 crore: Almost as an afterthought it appeared.
In the two weeks since the IPL began, both have left skeptics reeling. Watson has been the central figure in captain MS Dhoni’s scheme of things playing the crucial role of lead all-rounder, ahead of Dwayne Bravo who has been in excellent form too.
Watson opens the batting and bowling both, and this can be seriously challenging: in one role, he has to score quick runs in the powerplay, in the other, he has to ensure that runs aren’t conceded easily. He’s done well in both facets, batting obviously more so because of the stunning century against Rajasthan Royals, his original franchise.
The more interesting redemption story, however, is Gayle’s. Omitted for Punjab’s first two matches, it seemed that his presence in the squad was perhaps more because of his eminently marketable celebrity status: that he might bring more value to the coffers than the scorebook.
But he dispelled such belief scoring a sizzling 63 in his first outing. For those who thought this was an aberration, Gayle followed it up with a blistering century with 11 sixes against frontrunners Sunrisers who didn’t have a place to hide under the onslaught.
First Published: April 23, 2018, 2:46 PM IST