Sehwag: ‘Will get money’s worth if Gayle, Yuvi can win even two games’

Gayle and Yuvraj were both bought at a base price of ₹2 crore, by the Preity Zinta co-owned franchise.

Virender Sehwag (left) is also bullish on the KXIP’s chances to win its maiden IPL trophy this season.   -  PTI

Their stock has nosedived in recent years, but if Chris Gayle and Yuvraj Singh win a couple of games for the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL), mentor Virender Sehwag would take it as a decent return on investment.

Gayle and Yuvraj were both bought at a base price of ₹2 crore, by the Preity Zinta co-owned franchise. The Jamaican dasher went unsold twice before being lapped by up KXIP, while none of the other teams bid for Yuvraj, clearly indicating that they are no longer considered as match-winners. However, Sehwag is not complaining.

“It is great that they have come to us at their base price. It is surely a bargain. Who knows if there were more bidders, they could have gone as high as $1 million. They are big names and match winners, even if they win two-three games for us, we would get the return on investment,” Sehwag said during an interview on the sidelines of KXIP’s jersey launch here on Tuesday.

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While Yuvraj is a certain starter in the XI, at least for the first few games, Gayle is not as Mayank Agarwal and Aaron Finch are expected to form a potent opening combination. For now, Gayle is only certain to play the first game, as Finch will be unavailable due to his wedding back in Australia.

“Finch is not available for the first game, so most likely Gayle will play in his place. So, the opening game is not a problem, but we have a big headache after that. We will all sit together and take the call. I believe Finch is such a player that he can play anywhere,” said Sehwag.

The former Indian opener is also bullish on the team’s chances to win its maiden trophy this season. “The kind of team we have this year, we can win the championship. We have spent a lot of of money on some of the players, so hopefully they will do the job. This surely is the best KXIP team in the last 10 years.”

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The team was short on quality Indian players earlier, but this time it is loaded with them. Ravichandran Ashwin will captain the squad, comprising of Axar Patel, Karun Nair, KL Rahul, Barinder Sran, Mohit Sharma and the in-form Agarwal.

“Last few years, our Indian players were not that good, except Wriddhiman Saha and Axar Patel. That was one gap. If you want to win the IPL, you have to have good Indian players. We have four to five of them this time. We were also struggling with Indian batting line-up, which could hold the innings together. Guys like Rahul, Nair and Manoj Tiwary can hold the middle order. Then, we have have explosive openers in Gayle and Finch, and down the order, we have David Miller. Hopefully, they will do well against spinners,” said Sehwag.

The Ashwin-led spin department looks solid too, but there is not much experience in the pace department. Australia’s Andrew Tye leads the pace attack, in the company of Sran, Sharma and UP’s Ankit Rajpoot.

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Sehwag doesn’t see inexperience as an issue. “We don’t have an experienced bowling line-up, but we have a very good one. I am sure Ashwin will bring the best out of them.”

Having a bowler as captain is also a big positive, according to Sehwag. “I have always felt that a bowler-captain can win you more games. If 8, 10 or 15 runs are needed in the final over, only a bowler can you win that game. The way a bowler-captain thinks, he can also help other bowlers on the field. That is why I am a great fan of Kapil Dev, Imran Khan and Wasim Akram, who all made great captains,” Sehwag added.

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