Millennium Post

Gayle has made my life easier, says opening partner

Chennai: Kings XI Punjab batsman K L Rahul says opening the batting along side an in-form Chris Gayle has made his life easier as opposition bowlers are always focussed on the big-hitting West Indian, which gives him time to build his innings.
Rahul said he is enjoying his cricket now and learning from his flamboyant teammate Gayle, who "always plays with a big smile on his face and is a complete entertainer."
"He is the most destructive T20 opener in the world. It is a privilege to open the batting with him and it makes my life so much easier," Rahul said during an interaction. "When the opposition bowling is focusing on him, that takes a little bit pressure out of me. I can just take my time and I can enjoy my cricket," he added.
The stylish India batsman, who has so far scored 268 runs from seven IPL games at a strike rate of 170.70, said he is used to Gayle's company as they have played together for a few years at Royal Challengers Bangalore previously.
"We have played together for a few years now at RCB and now we are together. We enjoy each other's company. A great human being. So much fun to be around. A complete entertainer," Rahul said. Asked if Gayle's aggression had rubbed off on him, the Karnataka batsman said: "Like I said. It is good to be playing with him. We understand each other's game really well. It is about just going and enjoying my cricket.
"That is what I learnt from Chris. He is always playing the game with a big smile on his face. And he enjoys entertaining the crowd even when under pressure.
"I think when the opposition is up against him they are always under pressure," he added. Rahul said at present he is enjoying is batting but there is always scope for improvement. "I am very happy with the way I have been batting, the way I have been hitting the ball. But, obviously there is always scope for improvement," he said.
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