Since signing for KXIP in 2018, openers KL Rahul and Chris Gayle have complimented each other’s play style like Sarson da Saag and Makki di Roti, piling up runs aplenty for the Shers. The duo put on a magnificent 108 run stand for the opening wicket in Kings XI Punjab’s resounding six-wicket win in their last home game against defending champions Chennai Super Kings.
Speaking in the post-match interview with the broadcasters, the Universe Boss was all praise for the Karnataka man. “You are one of the best opening partners I’ve ever had,” said Gayle to Rahul while going on to add, “Our communication between the wickets has always been fantastic and I hope you’re the next superstar from India.”
Rahul was quick to return the compliment, crediting Gayle for being a constant advisor to him since his early days. “You’ve seen me as a 21-year-old at RCB (Royal Challengers Bangalore) and I’ve learnt so much from Gayle as an opening batsman. He’s never said anything different, just always about holding your shape which is very important for any young player,” said Rahul.
The 27-year-old KXIP opener has scored 593 runs in 14 games, striking at 135.38 with an average of 53.90 including an unbeaten century against Mumbai Indians. He has scored six fifties this year in the Indian Premier League and has emerged as the Shers’ leading run scorer for a second consecutive season.
The Universe Boss has also had a stellar campaign in 2019. He ends his season with 490 runs with four fifties which includes an unbeaten 99 against RCB.
Both of KXIP’s openers will now be heading to England to represent their respective countries at the 2019 ICC World Cup.