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'Match-winner Gayle, Mujeeb will soon play for Kings XI'

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Laxmi Negi
Last updated on: October 06, 2020 19:53 IST
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'Chris looks very much ready and is keen to get onto the park; he has been training really well and looked really good in the nets.'

Chris Gayle

IMAGE: Chris Gayle and spinner Mujeeb Zadran are yet to get a match in this season's IPL. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Kings XI Punjab batting coach Wasim Jaffer sees Chris Gayle and Mujeeb Zadran in the playing eleven soon, as the team does not want to bring them in at a stage when it would effectively need to win every game to make the IPL play-offs.

Kings XI have struggled so far, losing four of their five games, death bowling proving to be their biggest concern.


Jaffer said the campaign is disappointing so far, but "it only takes a game or two" to turn things around. For that to happen, he said, the more match-winners in the team the better, adding Gayle in that list.

Both Gayle and spinner Mujeeb are yet to play in the IPL this season.

"It should happen soon. As I said, it needs to happen sooner than later. We don't want to bring them when every game is a must-win game. Hopefully, we will have those guys featuring soon," Jaffer said from Dubai.

He added that the 41-year-old West Indian great is in top shape and hungry to do the job for the team.

"Chris looks very much ready and is keen to get onto the park; he has been training really well and has looked really good in the nets.

"He is such an impact player, we all know what he can do. I hope he turns up and turns it on straightaway and changes the tide for all of us. He looks hungry and that is a very good sign for the franchise.

"I am hoping he plays quickly. We need match-winners, as many as as possible. Not just for the next game, also for the rest of the tournament, as he can easily win you four-five games on his own," said the former India opener.

Jaffer said his team is in a situation where it needs to win seven out of the remaining nine leagues games to finish in the top-four, a tough task but possible.

For that, it will have to rework its composition and decide who will make way for Gayle and Mujeeb. Nicholas Pooran and Glenn Maxwell, who is yet to fire, are certain to retain their place in the eleven.

Sheldon Cottrell and Chris Jordan are the other overseas players who featured in the last game which Kings lost to Chennai Super Kings by 10 wickets.

Besides 'death' bowling, Jaffer feels even the finishing with the bat needs improvement.

"KL (Rahul) and Mayank (Agarwal) has done most of the work so far (in batting). Pooran has been batting really well. Karun (Nair) had couple of chances; he didn't do well, so Mandeep (Singh) has come in." 

"We obviously need Maxwell to fire. That is a tricky one, choosing the four overseas players. We got some time off and we will put our mind to it, if Gayle and Mujeeb come in, who will make way for them." 

"Pooran is keeping also, so which are the other guys (that can be replaced)? We will give our inputs to KL and Anilbhai (head coach Kumble) and they will take the call. I am sure they know what is the best thing to do going forward."

Talking about the campaign so far, he said the close defeats to Delhi Capitals (via the Super Over) and Rajasthan Royals are bound to affect the players.

"In a tournament like this close losses always affect you. Because this is a tournament where you need to win at least seven to eight games, especially the ones against DC and RR; definitely has its effect on the team, because we could have easily won our first three matches (before losses to Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings).

"We need to perform collectively, something we have not done yet. However, players are experienced enough to know that things can turnaround quickly and it is about time it turns in our favour, else it would be too late."

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Laxmi Negi© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

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