IPL 2021 – RR vs PBKS: Punjab Kings batting coach Wasim Jaffer prefers Chris Gayle at no 3 for Punjab Kings; KL Rahul & Mayank as openers: Former India opener and Punjab Kings (PBKS) batting coach Wasim Jaffer sees no reason why the opening pair of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal should be altered with and would prefer them to continue the ‘good run’ at the top as Punjab Kings takes on Rajasthan Royals in their first IPL game today evening.
IPL 2021 – RR vs PBKS: “Our opening pair of Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul has been a phenomenon for Punjab Kings last year before Chris Gayle joined in. Gayle gave us a great impetus at no 3. It was something new for him and the team. Gayle coming in at number 3 put pressure on the opponent team’s spinners and bowlers in the middle overs. Mayank, KL & Gayle have scored runs heavily. The opening duo was in sublime form. They were our top player. I see no reason why the team would like to alter the batting order. Hopefully, we start with KL, Mayank & Gayle at no 3. I tend to believe we have one of the best top-order in the tournament,” Jaffer told Insidesport.co in an exclusive interview on Monday.
IPL 2021 – RR vs PBKS: : Wasim Jaffer choice, ‘Chris Gayle at no 3, KL Rahul & Mayank Aggarwal as opening pair for Punjab Kings’
In 2020 IPL season, captain KL Rahul was in sublime form scoring 670 runs in 14 matches while Mayank Aggarwal scored 424 runs in 11 matches. Chris Gayle who did not feature in the team’s scheme of things in the first half managed 288 runs in 7 matches.
Reflecting on PBKS performance last year, PBKS batting coach said: “Even last year, we lost close games, we played well throughout. We lost a couple of matches by 1 run & 2 runs and a few by a very narrow margin. We should have won those matches. We were centimetres away from winning. Then to win 5 games in a row showed the character of the team. That was the biggest positive coming from last year. This year we are more balanced as a team especially the bowling attack.”
IPL 2021 – RR vs PBKS: Wasim Jaffer choice, ‘Chris Gayle at no 3, KL Rahul & Mayank Aggarwal as opening pair for Punjab Kings’
Elaborating further, the former India opener said: “Our both the leggies are important, we have two quick bowlers who can bowl 145 km and we have very good all-rounders, a lot of option and depth are there in our team. The challenge will be to start well…once the tournament starts pressure will be off. I am looking at positives. I hope we learn from our mistakes and apply ourselves from the very word go and maintain the momentum throughout. I am very optimistic that the team will reach the playoffs this year if not beyond.”
IPL 2021 – RR vs PBKS: On the outbreak of the second wave of Covid 19 pandemic in the country with Mumbai emerging as a hotspot once again, Jaffer said he and his team were not afraid or worried about what happened outside the bubble. “We don’t need to worry about Mumbai. We players in the IPL remain in a bubble. Other officials and support staff have their own bubble. Whatever happens outside this bubble we are not affected by it. Shifting the venue from Mumbai is not necessary at this stage with such a short span of time. The groundsmen and event management people will be replaced. I am sure the situation is under control and hoping that situation does not worsen further.”
IPL 2021: Punjab Kings will play Rajasthan Royals in their first match of 14th edition of IPL