The AB-Kohli partnership was the highlight on a Super Saturday at Chinnaswamy as numerous records were broken by the duo as Royal Challengers Bangalore thrashed Gujarat Lions by a massive 144-run margin. But it was for the fifth consecutive time in IPL 2016 that Chris Gayle was dismissed in single digits. In five IPL matches, Gayle has scored only 19 runs at an average of 3.80! A best score of 7, a strike rate of 57.57 and only one six to his name, tells us how badly Gayle is stressed with his form.
After his century against England in World T20, Gayle has hardly got into double digits. There was a time when Royal Challengers were dependent only on one man — Christopher Henry Gayle. There were chants of the Gayle-storm all over the Chinnaswamy but the aggressive southpaw has struggled to middle anything in IPL 2016. The bowlers, especially pacers, have got the better of him a good number of times and Gayle hasn’t survived till the end of Power-play in any of the matches this season.
On one hand where Gayle has failed to get going, skipper of Royal Challengers Virat Kohli is scoring centuries galore. Kohli and AB de Villiers are the two leading run-scorers in the ninth edition of IPL and these two have taken the responsibility in most of the matches. With big partnerships of 229, 157 and 155, AB and Kohli have been the most successful pair this season. There are a few more matches to be played and the onus will once again be on this pair to take the team all the way.
Gayle is clearly not at his best, so will he get another chance? Royal Challengers have got three more matches to be played and in order to qualify they need to win all three. With the form Gayle is in, Royal Challengers would be tempted to go in with an overseas bowler instead of Chris. But, Royal Challengers are playing their next encounter against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens.
Gayle has an impressive record at this venue, so he might get a chance to play against Kolkata Knight Riders. But if he fails to deliver once again, that probably would be his last match of the season.