The Kings XI Punjab bear a new look this season, with KL Rahul leading the side for the first time and Anil Kumble as the head coach of the franchise. The side is also bolstered with overseas players like Glenn Maxwell and James Neesham, but one player who -- even at the age of 40 -- has the ability to turn the game in his side's favour singlehandedly -- is Chris Gayle, who has been with the franchise since 2018.
Gayle had been one of the key players for KXIP over the past two seasons. This time, under the coaching of Anil Kumble, Gayle is set to have a significantly senior role in the side, which goes beyond the field.
In an interaction with the Times of India, Kumble said that he aims for the young players in the squad to learn under Gayle's stead.
"We have to see the conditions. He has a major role as a player and otherwise. It's not just Chris the batsman that we were looking at. We are looking at him developing the young players. I have worked with Chris before. We have had chats. He is very keen," Kumble said.
Chris Gayle has been one of the most destructive batsmen in the shortest format of the game. In the previous edition, Gayle played 13 matches for KXIP, scoring 490 runs at a strike rate of 153.02.
Kumble further said that the side needed an impact player in the middle-order and Australia's Glenn Maxwell fits the role. The Aussie all-rounder was bought in the IPL auction in December last year.
"We have a strong team. We needed an impact player in the middle and not just with batting and fielding and Maxwell is also handy with the ball. And a fast bowler who bowls at the death," said Kumble.