On the idea of replacing Maxwell with Gayle, Pietersen believes that the inclusion of ‘Universe Boss’ won’t solve KXIP’s middle-order conundrum.
Kings XI Punjab’s woeful run in the on-going IPL 2020 continued as they were handed a 69-run thrashing by Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday. The Punjab side has slumped to the bottom of the points table, having won just one out of six matches so far.
While chasing a daunting 201-run total against SRH, KXIP’s batting unit, overreliant on skipper KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, fizzled out and managed to post only 132 runs on the scoreboard. No other KXIP batsman apart from Nicholas Pooran (77 off 37) managed to leave an impact during KXIP’s run chase.
In the wake of KXIP’s thumping defeat, former England international Kevin Pietersen has slammed Glenn Maxwell for his yet another failure. The Aussie all-rounder has gathered just 48 runs with a strike rate of less than 100 in six matches so far. Maxwell was bought by the Punjab franchise for a whopping INR 10.5 crore in the IPL 2020 auction.
Considering his hefty price tag, the hard-hitting all-rounder has undoubtedly failed to live up to the expectations. His woeful stint in the tournament continued as he got run out on 7 when KXIP needed him the most. According to Pietersen, KXIP team management needs to take a call on Maxwell’s selection in the Playing XI, considering his woeful form.
“This year will be very very difficult for him (Rahul). He has not got the support of his big players and that one particular big player is Maxwell. Maxwell needs to either be sidelined or he gets one more chance,” Pietersen told Star Sports in the post-match show.
Skipper Rahul currently leads the list of highest run-scorers of IPL 2020, with 313 runs from 6 outings. But according to Pietersen, there is a lot of pressure on the skipper and Mayank Agarwal while going into a chase.
There is so much pressure on Rahul-Mayank pair: Kevin Pietersen
“There is so much pressure on KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal going into the chase. It’s unfair pressure. It’s okay Nicholas Pooran played nicely. There are some good players in and around.
“You can’t have him captain and give him wicketkeeping responsibilities and then have him thinking that he has to score all the runs because the other overseas players are not getting the runs. There is a hell of a lot of pressure,” Pietersen pointed out.
On the idea of replacing Maxwell with Gayle, Pietersen believes that the inclusion of ‘Universe Boss’ won’t solve KXIP’s middle-order conundrum. Gayle was set to play against SRH but a stomach problem ruled him out of the fixture at the last moment. Hoping to get back to winning ways after a dismal start, KXIP will take on Kolkata Knight Riders in their next match on October 10.
“I am going to (have a) go at Maxwell here because he hasn’t delivered. He is a big, big player for that franchise. If he is not part of the process, then you have to bring somebody else in.
“And Gayle, Anil Kumble said he would have played but he had a bit of an upset tummy. So he is going to have to produce some magic but where is he going to bat? I don’t think he can bat at No. 3 or No. 4 because of his running between the wickets,” Pietersen further said.