Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli has said that star player Chris Gayle was "dropped" and not rested for their game against the Rising Pune Supergiants on 7 May (Saturday). It was earlier believed that the West Indian blaster had been rested for the game.
Gayle had previously missed four games when he left for Jamaica for the birth of his child, and it was thought he had not played the last game due to fitness concerns. The left-hander has had a poor IPL so far scoring just eight runs in three games and has been replaced by KL Rahul who has impressed with scores of 51, 51*, 52 and 38 in his absence; in fact the youngster has taken up Gayle's opening spot as well.
"No, Gayle wasn't rested, we chose Travis Head in his place. We felt we needed more solidity in the middle order. Travis strikes the ball well, KL (Rahul) and I have been opening well. Also, we thought Travis can give us a few overs of offspin if needed", Kohli said as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
"They (Supergiants) had three left-handers, so we could have used him if there was a situation if one of our bowlers went for runs. He proved himself in the game against Mumbai Indians, and we all know he strikes the ball well."
The current Indian test skipper has also stressed that players had to be fit and active on the field, and he would have no qualms about dropping players who did not fit the bill, as is evidenced by the omission of Sarfraz Khan in favour of Sachin Baby.
"The format is fast and you need guys who are fit and can get to the ball quickly to save you five-six runs. Sachin (Baby) in that aspect is committed, fit and works on those things. So it's a matter of who is working hard on all three aspects of the game. If you are not a bowler, then you need to be up with your fielding and batting. Me as a captain will go with a player who gives me 120% on the field, and is committed to every ball he fields."