Chris Gayle not playing: Punjab Kings have left out their veteran batsman on his 42nd birthday at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
During the 32nd match of the ongoing 14th season of the Indian Premier League between Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals in Dubai, Punjab Kings captain Lokesh Rahul has won the toss and chose to bowl.
“No brainer, fresh wicket, don’t know how it will play. I personally prefer chasing. It’s good to be back in Dubai. We’ve had a lot of learnings from playing here last time. Lot of guys were playing international cricket, but we are all professionals and have done our best to prepare,” Rahul told Star Sports at the toss.
Being asked to bat first against a team which has challenged them in the recent past, Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson remained unperturbed by toss.
“We are good setting or chasing as a team that we have. We have great talent, and great characters. Positive atmosphere in the team. [Kumar, Director of Cricket] Sangakkara wanted us to relax, and remind us that it’s just a game that you have to enjoy,” Samson told Star Sports at the toss.
Why is Chris Gayle not playing vs Rajasthan Royals?
A position below Royals despite playing an extra match this season, Kings have included as many as three debutants in their Playing XI today and batsman Aiden Markram, spinner Adil Rashid and fast bowler Ishan Porel will be playing their first IPL match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
“[Nicholas] Pooran, [Aiden] Markram, Adil Rashid, Fabian Allen. Markram will bat No. 3. Unfortunately, Chris Gayle misses out,” Rahul added not providing any particular reason behind Gayle’s exclusion.
#CaptainPunjab‘s 5️⃣0️⃣th IPL game for us, 3️⃣ new faces and a lot to look forward to! 😍
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) September 21, 2021
RR, on the other hand, have handed a debut to West Indies batsman Evin Lewis. The other overseas players for them are Liam Livingstone, Chris Morris and Mustafizur Rahman.