Ajit Agarkar has reckoned that there’s too much being made out of KL Rahul’s strike rate and praised the KXIP skipper for playing beautiful knocks in tough conditions. He added that it’s very difficult to make Gayle sit, but he doesn’t want KXIP to disturb their opening combination even for Gayle.
Recently, apart from sub-par captaincy, KXIP skipper KL Rahul has been under the scanner for having a low strike rate and putting pressure on the batting lineup to accelerate as soon as they arrive. Although he has been the Orange Cap holder, apart from a brilliant unbeaten hundred against RCB, in which he played with a strike rate of 191, his best strike rate has been 127 in the other six games, resulting in people questioning his strokeplay.
However, former Indian cricketer Ajit Agarkar reckoned that there’s too much being made out of Rahul's strike rate and pointed out that he’s still the leading run-scorer in the tournament, having scored 387 runs in 7 matches. He praised Rahul for playing beautiful innings in difficult situations.
“I think there’s too much being made of his strike rate. Perhaps he can play a little quicker but he’s still getting heaps of runs. I mean he’s still the leading run-scorer in this competition so I’m not too fast with the way he’s playing, to be honest. In the couple of innings that we’ve seen live, he’s batted beautifully in not so easy conditions and batted the situation. It’s just that they haven’t gotten over the line,” Agarkar said in ESPN Cricinfo's "T20 Time Out".
There has been lots of talk around bringing Chris Gayle into the lineup to change the fortunes of the Punjab based team. Yet to make an appearance in this edition of IPL, Gayle was supposed to be in the playing eleven in the previous match for KXIP, but the big-man suffered food poisoning and hence was ruled out of the match. However, he is fit now and is available for selection for the match against RCB.
But Agarkar suggested that it would be a bad move on the part of Punjab to break the in-form opening combination of Mayank Agarwal and Rahul.
“When you talk about Chris Gayle it’s very difficult to say don’t bring in Gayle. It’s a hard one I mean he’s been one of the greats of T20 cricket. Don’t quite know what kind of form or fitness he’s in. I’m not a big fan of that move. Having seen Mayank and KL Rahul enough this season, you don’t want to disturb that even if it’s with the Chris Gayle. So, if they do that then one of them has to drop down the order and for me, I don’t think that’s the best move,” He said.