India TV expert and former Indian spinner Murali Kartik minced no words in letting his feeling know on how Punjab Kings committed a blunder in their seven-wicket loss to Delhi Capitals by not sending Chris Gayle as the opener in absence of KL Rahul.
Punjab Kings were handed a big blow on Sunday when their captain was ruled out of the game with acute appendicitis, forcing surgery. The team management asked Mayank Agarwal to take the lead and the Karnataka batsman made it count with 99-run innings against Delhi Capitals. However, lack of contribution from other batsmen meant PBKS couldn't impose a big target while DC chased it down quickly.
In Rahul's absence, it was anticipated that Chris Gayle will return as an opener but Mayank picked young batsman Prabhsimran Singh, along with him, for the role. The young batsman could only score 12 runs off 16 deliveries on the day while Gayle too had a disappointing outing at no. 3 with just 13 runs to his name as he was clean bowled by Kagiso Rabada.
Kartik, while talking on India TV show Cricket Dhamaka, questioned where is PBKS team management's cricketing sense while also stressing that Dawid Malan, who made his IPL debut with a 26-ball 26, should have batted at No.3 and not No.4.
"There's no cricket sense in the decision. There is Chris Gayle, a big batsman who opened all his life. When KL wasn't available, Gayle should have opened and Dawid Malan should have batted at no.3 as he has scored so many runs in that position for England," Kartik said. "I dont' like to criticise any talent but Prabhsimran can't bat ahead of Chris Gayle and Dawid Malan, I am sorry."