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IPL 2021: Will Chris Gayle or Dawid Malan open for Punjab Kings? Mayank Agarwal has the answer

Ahmedabad, May 3: Punjab Kings' stand-in captain Mayank Agarwal said the side have not yet discussed about an opening partner for him in the absence of KL Rahul, who needs a surgery to treat acute appendicitis.

Regular skipper Rahul is doubtful to rejoin the league anytime soon after going under the knife in a Mumbai hospital. Although his team expect him to return to action within a week or 10 days, the IPL bio-secure bubble which will require Rahul to undergo quarantine for a period may rule him out of the entire tournament, that will conclude on May 30.

Without Rahul in the side, Prabhsimran Singh opened the innings alongside stand-in skipper Mayank, despite PBKS having the likes of swashbuckling Chris Gayle and world number T20 batsman Dawid Malan at their disposal.

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After the defeat to Delhi Capitals on Sunday (May 2), Agarwal said PBKS have not yet discussed if explosive Gayle or Malan would open the innings alongside him in the absence of Rahul.

"That's something (Gayle or Malan) we have to 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," said Agarwal at the post-match press conference.

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Agarwal scored an unbeaten 99 but his opening partner Prabhsimran contributed only 15, while Gayle and Malan added 13 and 26 respectively as PBKS suffered 7-wicket loss.

The four overseas players have been slighltly inconsistent this season and the skipper Agarwal was once again non-commital when asked if they can be reshuffled to let someone like all-rounder Moises Henriques play regularly.

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"That's something we will think about, going ahead. With Delhi's batting, we needed firepower to get the wickets, that was lacking. We back our bowlers to do that for us," he said.

On his captaincy and extra responsibilty, Agarwal said it was not tough to play the leader's role but admitted that the responsibility does change the approach towards the game.

"I had been kept in 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.

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"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," he said.

Sixth-placed PBKS have won three of their 8 matches this season and will look to bounce back when they next take on Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday (May 6) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

(With PTI inputs)

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Story first published: Monday, May 3, 2021, 14:39 [IST]
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