It s a pity that Virender Sehwag has retired or else fans would be treated with Chris Gayle and Sehwag s opening combo for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). For those with an excellent cricket memory, this phenomenon has happened twice in international cricket. Gayle and Sehwag have opened for ICC World XI during the 2005 Super Series in Australia with little success, in 2005.

After dazzling in Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) colours for 7 season, Gayle wasn t retained by them. He went unsold for the first two rounds of VIVO IPL 2018 Auctions. He was last minute pick at base price of INR 2 crore by KXIP and Sehwag had masterminded that.

Virender Sehwag saved IPL 2018 by picking me, says Chris Gayle after winning MoM award in KXIP vs SRH tie
Virender Sehwag saved IPL 2018 by picking me, says Chris Gayle after winning MoM award in KXIP vs SRH tie

Gayle has repaid the faith with two match-defining knocks, first a blazing fifty (33-ball 63) against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and then a brutal 104 against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Gayle thanked Sehwag in his own style by saying that the latter had saved IPL by picking him.

On the eve of KXIP s game against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at Eden Gardens, Sehwag called Gayle the greatest entertainer.

Nobody is a greater entertainer than him, Sehwag said. That was a strategy because we had to buy other players also. He would have cost more if he was taken up in the first phase,” Sehwag explained.

He was injured last season and it is difficult to score runs. Ask any cricketer, with a back injury, it’s difficult to score runs and that’s what he told us also. He missed a lot of games because he had pain in his back.

Sehwag mentioned that Gayle fits in marketing plans as well as everyone loves the big Jamaican for his larger than life way.

Kohli dropped him also (from Royal Challengers Bangalore). I was expecting nobody will pick him, he’s of my age. If we pick him, he’s good guy to do the marketing. He s fabulous with all the marketing guys, everyone loves Chris Gayle. He fits in our group also, Sehwag added about T20 cricket s greatest batsman.

We bought him for Rs 2 crore and if he wins two games, I recovered my money. Still more games to go and if he wins two more time he wins four games. He’s a big asset for KXIP now,” Sehwag further added.

He has already won them 2 matches and the kind of form he has exhibited, these are ominous signs for other teams.