Chris Gayle not playing: Punjab Kings have made as many as three changes to their Playing XI for this must-win match tonight.
During the 45th match of the ongoing 14th season of the Indian Premier League between Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings in Dubai, Punjab Kings captain Lokesh Rahul has won the toss and chose to field.
“We will bowl first. The wicket has been quite tricky, some days it’s 180, some other days it’s 150. So, it could be tricky to bat first, better for the opposition to set the target. Our bowling group has done well, but the batting hasn’t fired, but it’s another opportunity for us,” Rahul told Star Sports at the toss.
Asked to bat first at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium tonight, Kolkata Knight Riders captain Eoin Morgan sounded unaffected by the decision saying that his team has played well in the second leg of IPL 2021.
“Results on this ground haven’t been dictated by the toss. In the second phase teams that have played well have got the result. It is a used wicket today but doesn’t necessarily look that bad. Should be a good cricket wicket,” Morgan told Star Sports at the toss.
Why is Chris Gayle not playing vs KKR?
Talking about the changes made to their Playing XI, Punjab have made three of them. Opening batter Mayank Agarwal, who had missed their last match against Mumbai Indians due to a stiff neck, has returned to partner Rahul at the top.
Additionally, all-rounder Fabian Allen and batter Shahrukh Khan have returned to the XI replacing batters Mandeep Singh, Chris Gayle and all-rounder Harpreet Brar. Gayle, who had opted out of Kings’ bio-bubble due to “bubble fatigue” last night, will take no further part in IPL 2021.
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) October 1, 2021
Kolkata, on the other hand, have included a debutant in New Zealand wicket-keeper batter Tim Seifert. Pacer Shivam Mavi, who has played 20 IPL matches for KKR including three in the first leg of this season, is playing his first match of the UAE leg.