Stability and consistency at the top of the batting order is imperative in cricket. Like the famous saying, ‘what start wells, ends well’, a steady opening pair sets the tone for the rest of the batting order to follow and thrive on. For Kings XI Punjab in their 2019 VIVO Indian Premier League campaign, openers KL Rahul and Chris Gayle have not only been consistent in giving the team a good start but have managed to do so to a historic effect.
Both, Rahul and Gayle, have individually scored over 400 runs each this season and in doing so, became the first KXIP opening pair to achieve the feat. In fact, the Indo-Jamaican pair are only the eighth duo in VIVO Indian Premier League history to achieve that feat.
While Gayle has scored his runs at an impressive average of 49.33, the second-best in the league among left-handers, Rahul has been even better, managing to get his runs at a staggering average of 55.12. The Universe Boss, however, has scored his runs, typically, at a massive strike rate of 162.04, bettered only by two other batsmen with over 250 runs this season.
Through their exploits this season, Gayle and Rahul have also put themselves into contention for the Orange Cap and only trail to Sunrisers Hyderabad’s David Warner and Johnny Bairstow in the race for the coveted prize.
With both the Englishman and the Aussie set to depart back home soon to prepare for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup, Gayle and Rahul are in a prime position to have a go at the topping Warner to the Orange Cap and finish as the league’s leading runscorer.
While a lot of factors affect the race for the Orange Cap and the two Shers may or may not finish the season donning the Orange Cap, Rahul and Gayle have been consistent in laying a solid foundation for the team to build on. And if both manage to get 60 more runs each in what’s left of the campaign, they would become only the second opening pair in VIVO Indian Premier League history to score 500 runs each.