Chris Gayle said KL Rahul has the potential to become India’s biggest cricketing superstar and added the Kings XI Punjab star batsman as one of his best-ever opening partners.
IPL 2019: Chris Gayle and KL Rahul stitched a 100-run stand against Chennai Super Kings on Sunday to help Kings XI Punjab finish the season on a high ( Courtesy by BCCI)
- KL Rahul finished IPL 2019 as the 2nd highest run-getter
- You’re one of the best opening partners I have had: Gayle to Rahul
- India take on the West Indies at the World Cup on June 27
Chris Gayle heaped praise on his Kings XI Punjab star KL Rahul, saying the India batsman has been one of his best opening partners.
Chris Gayle reiterated that KL Rahul has the potential to become the next big superstar of Indian cricket while maintaining that he loved the experience of batting with Rahul in IPL 2019.
Speaking after their dominant win over defending champions Chennai Super Kings, Gayle wished Rahul well for the 2019 World Cup, starting May 30 in England and Wales.
Gayle and Rahul came up with a hundred-run stand on Sunday in Mohali as KXIP gunned down a 171-run target in just 18 overs. Rahul smashed 71 from 36 balls and took veteran off-spinner to the cleaners, collecting 24 runs from his second over.
Rahul finished the season as the second-highest run getter, collecting 593 runs, including a hundred, in 14 matches. He has finished on top of the batting charts for KXIP for the 2nd successive year.
However, Gayle hoped Rahul doesn’t exhibit his power-hitting skills against the West Indies in the World Cup. India and West Indies meet on June 27 at the Old Trafford in Manchester.
“The lion today [Sunday] was KL Rahul and it wasn’t Chris Gayle. You’re one of the best opening partners I have had. We have had some outstanding partnerships. I always wish you well and I always said you are someone who can be the next Indian superstar and that doesn’t change. Our communication between the wickets has been fantastic,” Gayle said during a candid with Rahul for IPLT20.com
“[This season has] definitely been good for you, second consecutive year, you have been the top-scorer for Kings XI Punjab. I want to wish you good luck for the World Cup. Not against the West Indies. We are going to meet again in the World Cup,” Gayle added.
Talking up Gayle’s contribution to his game over the years, Rahul said: “I saw him as a 21-year-old in the RCB dressing room. I have learnt so much from his as an opening batsman. From then to now, he has been talking to me about holding the shape which is very important for an opening batsman.
Rahul also revealed that Gayle had already told him he would be returning to India to play the IPL in 2020. Notably, the West Indies great announced he would be retiring from international cricket after the 2019 World Cup.