In the latest development, cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar has advocated for Rahmanullah Gurbaz to secure a place in the Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) playing XI for the upcoming IPL 2024 season. Gavaskar suggested that Gurbaz could potentially vie with Jason Roy for the final overseas slot, alongside the expected trio of Mitchell Starc, Andre Russell, and Sunil Narine.
He emphasised the need for the Knight Riders to address their wicketkeeping-batting predicament, particularly if Roy is selected. He praised the Afghan batter’s sportsmanship and highlighted his potential contribution to the team. Despite Gurbaz’s modest performance in IPL 2023, where he amassed 227 runs at an average of 20.64, with just two half-centuries, his explosive 81-run innings off 39 balls against the Gujarat Titans showcased his capabilities.
“I have liked Gurbaz’s batting a lot based on whatever I have seen. He is extremely aggressive, and his batting is like a slight copy of MS Dhoni, and that is why I probably like it. When the World Cup ended, after that, the job he did, he gave money to the people sleeping on the footpath. For doing that, he has to definitely be in the team for me,” said Gavaskar while speaking to Star Sports.
KKR’s playoff selection is not going to be easy: Gavaskar
The little master also shared insights on the Kolkata Knight Riders’ playoff chances and the importance of their Indian batting quartet in IPL 2024. He emphasised the need for Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, and Venkatesh Iyer to excel, especially if the Eden Gardens pitch slowed down and aided spinners. He highlighted the recent strong performances of KKR’s Indian batters, particularly Rinku Singh.
“Not going to be easy (playoff qualification). They have to because they have got the experience, not only of playing on those kinds of pitches, of having played in the IPL for a while. I think that experience does come in very handy because you know what the pressure is and you know how to handle it. All these four players have done it exceptionally well. Rinku Singh, in particular, in the last year or so has been tremendous,” Gavaskar concluded.