IPL 2021: Haven’t thought about opening with Gayle or Malan, says PBKS captain Mayank Agarwal

PBKS lost their recent match to DC.

Dawid Malan made his IPL 14 debut on Sunday against DC | BCCI/IPL

Punjab Kings' (PBKS) stand-in captain Mayank Agarwal on Sunday (April 2) said the franchise has not yet discussed an opening partner for him in the absence of skipper KL Rahul in the ongoing 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021).

Rahul is doubtful to rejoin the Punjab Kings (PBKS) side anytime soon, although, the franchise is expecting him to return to action within a week or 10 days after going undergoing surgery to treat acute appendicitis in a Mumbai hospital.

Since the ongoing IPL 14 is being held in a bio-secure bubble due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rahul may have to serve the mandatory quarantine period if he does not get an exemption – which means he could miss the entire tournament that will conclude on May 30.

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Given the scenario, the PBKS have to find a replacement for Rahul and Mayank said they haven’t thought about it, but they will discuss if the explosive batsman Chris Gayle or Dawid Malan would open the innings alongside him in the ongoing tournament.

The stand-in skipper further said PBKS were probably 10 runs short against DC as his team suffered a massive 7-wicket defeat in Ahmedabad on Sunday. They are now sixth in the IPL 2021 points table.

Agarwal said at the post-match press conference after the game: “That's something (Gayle or Malan) we have to speak about but for the moment this is the strategy that we went with and we got a decent score. May be probably 10 runs short.”

He further added, “That's something we will think about, going ahead. With Delhi's batting, we needed firepower to get the wickets, which was lacking. We back our bowlers to do that for us.”

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On his captaincy stint, Agarwal said: “I had been kept in the loop. Through the season we were there in meetings. There was enough time to prepare. We turned up decently, would have liked more aggression though. When you play as a batsman, you don't think like a captain, you execute your role as a player. When you are captain and batting, you want to take extra responsibility.”

(PTI inputs)


By Rashmi Nanda - 03 May, 2021

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