West Indies’ star batsman Chris Gayle and India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh were both bought at a base price of Rs 2 crore by the Kings XI Punjab for the eleventh edition of the Indian Premier League. KXIP mentor and former India cricketer Virender Sehwag on Tuesday said if Gayle and Yuvraj win a couple of games for KXIP, he would take it as a decent return on investment. “It is great that they have come to us at their base price. It is surely a bargain. Who knows if there were more bidders, they could have gone as high as USD 1 million. They are big names and match winners, even if they win two-three games for us, we would get the return on investment,” Sehwag told PTI.

Gayle went unsold twice before being lapped by up KXIP while none of the other teams bid for Yuvraj, clearly indicating that they are no longer considered as match-winners.

The West Indies batsman is only certain to play the first game as Australia’s Aaron Finch will be unavailable due to his wedding back in Australia.

“Finch is not available for the first game so most likely Gayle will play in his place. So the opening game is not a problem but we have a big headache after that. We will all sit together and take the call. I believe Finch is such a player that he can play anywhere,” said Sehwag.

The former Indian opener is also bullish on the team’s chances to win its maiden trophy this season.

“The kind of team we have this year, we can win the championship. We have spent a lot of money on some of the players, so hopefully they will do the job. This surely is the best KXIP team in the last 10 years.”

Ravichandran Ashwin will captain the squad comprising Axar Patel, Karun Nair, KL Rahul, Barinder Sran, Mohit Sharma and the in-form Agarwal.

“Last few years, our Indian players were not that good except Wriddhiman Saha and Axar Patel. That was one gap. If you want to win the IPL, you have to have good Indian players. We have four to five of them this time.

“We were also struggling with Indian batting line up which could hold the innings together. Guys like Rahul, Nair and Manoj Tiwary can hold the middle order. The we have have explosive openers in Gayle and Finch, and down the order we have David Miller. Hopefully, they will do well against spinners,” said Sehwag.

Having a bowler as captain is also a big positive, according to Sehwag.

“I have always felt a bowler-captain can win you more games. If 8, 10 or 15 runs are needed in the final over, only bowler can you win that game.

“The way a bowler-captain thinks, he can also help other bowlers on the field. That is why I am a great fan of Kapil Dev, Imran Khan and Wasim Akram, who all made great captains,” Sehwag added.

Source link