The bigwig T20 cricketer and two time orange cap winner in history of Indian Premier League – Chris Gayle is ready for another action-packed season, starting from 9th April, 2016. Hypothetically, if Jamaican batsman could bat for every team in the IPL, his opening partner would have be an interesting subject.
Based on past performances and style of play, we present you a list of players who can companion left-hander Gayle for opening a match.
Shaun Marsh – Kings XI Punjab
Star of the first season of the IPL, Shaun Marsh was awarded with orange cap in 2008, as he scored 616 runs in 11 matches. Opening for the Kings, the 32-year-old batsman has made 2054 in 56 matches with a strike rate of 135.55. Marsh has struck 17 fifties and a century with 217 fours and 69 sixes, so far in the history of the league.
Quinton de Kock – Delhi Daredevils
Playing two seasons for Delhi Daredevils and one earlier for Sunrisers Hyderabad, Quintonn de Kock has scored 281 runs in 13 matches. Even though Delhi has a strong pair of Shreyas Iyer and Mayank Agarwal, the 23-year-old South African played his IPL-best knock of 69 runs against Royal Chalangers Bangalore, last year.
Quinton de Kock, Chris Morris & JP Duminy clicks a selfie during Delhi Daredevils photoshoot. pic.twitter.com/gVyprvNpHA— crictoday (@crictoday) April 6, 2016
Rohit Sharma – Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indian skipper Rohit Sharma has guided his team to the title twice in the IPL. Coming as defending champions this season, Mumbai has a dense opener in shape of their captain. Right-hander Rohit will be the best companion for the left-hander Gayle. Playing 128 matches, the 28-year-old Mumbai chap has scored 3385 runs with an impressive strike rate of 131.56.
Aaron Finch – Gujarat Lions
Another decent partner with Gayle, can be right-hander Aaron Finch from Gujarat Lions. Playing 39 matches in IPL, Finch has been a part of five teams earlier – Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Daredevils, Pune Warriors, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians. The 29-year-old batsman has scored 911 in 39 matches with 100 fours and 39 sixes.
Gautam Gambhir – Kolkata Knight Riders
Making it a left-handed pair with Gayle, Kolkata Knight Riders’ skipper Gautam Gambhir will be a healthier option. Driving KKR to the crown twice, Gambir has scored 3134 runs in 117 matches, playing for Kolkata and Delhi. With a notable strike rate of 124.56, the Indian old-timer has struck 26 fifties so far in the league.
Kevin Pietersen – Rising Pune Supergiants
Coming up best in T20 leagues all over the globe, Kevin Pietersen has emerged as a star. Recently displaying his paramount play, Pietersen smashed 724 runs in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge and the Big Bash league. Associating with five teams earlier – Royal Challengers Bangalore, Deccan Chargers, Delhi Daredevils and Sunrisers Hyderabad, the 35-year-old batsman scored 928 runs in 32 matches with an impeccable strike rate of 136.07.
David Warner/Kane Williamson – Sunrisers Hyderabad
Earlier a Delhi Daredevils’ player and later turned Sunrisers Hyderabad’s, David Warner can be a better option to partner with Gayle. Scoring 2525 runs in 83 matches, with 23 fifties and 2 centuries in the cash-rich league. From the same team, right-hander Kane Williamson too can be a great choice to open with Gayle. The Kiwi opener has played just two matches in the IPL with 31 runs, hitting a four and a six.