Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul has praised his team's star opener Chris Gayle and said that he is getting 'better and better' with age. 28-year-old Rahul, who was IPL 2020's highest run-getter, added that he spends 3 to 4 hours in the nets to master the techniques of batting but Gayle plays a blinder despite always appearing to party on yachts.
The 41-year-old West Indies opener had smashed 288 runs in seven games for the side in the 13th edition of the IPL. He was benched by the management for the first half of the tournament.
"I obviously played with Chris [Gayle] for a long time. Having him around is great fun. I'm really looking forward to playing with him again. One year older, but every time he comes back, he keeps getting better and better.
"I really wonder how he does that. It's like he's always on the yacht, partying. And then he turns up and plays the way he does. For someone like me who spends three-four hours getting my batting and skill right, I really wonder how he does it. So, I'm really looking forward to having him in the team and hitting some sixes," said KL Rahul in a podcast on Red Bull's Decoding Athletes series.
Further, KL Rahul has reckoned that his side was "a tad unlucky" last year and the change in franchise name and a new-look jersey could prove helpful in changing their fate in the IPL 2021.
Ahead of the 14th edition, Punjab Kings (previously Kings XI Punjab) changed their franchise name and then went for a new-look jersey.
The primary colour for the jersey will continue to be red, with golden stripes forming the edges of the design, while the crest of a lion will also be sported below the primary sponsor logos.
Punjab Kings had also announced that they would be wearing golden helmets in IPL 2021. They will join the likes of Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore who have sported golden helmets over the last few years.
"We have our fingers crossed. I genuinely believe that we were a tad bit unlucky last year. We did play some really good cricket. A couple of the games we really couldn't close for a couple of reasons,"
"It did hurt a little bit, so I'm hoping the change of name and jerseys, and a whole lot of other changes, will bring us some good fortune," he added.
The star batsman expressed his excitement on the prospect of having a pacer like Riley Meredith, the Australian who was bought for Rs 8 crore, in the team. The 24-year-old had a base price of Rs 40 lakh at the mini-auction.
"I'm looking forward to watching Riley Meredith bowl. I've watched him in a couple of games. He looks like he can bowl some proper pace," said Rahul.
"That's something I felt we were missing for a few seasons - someone who can intimidate the opposition with some pace. So I'm really looking forward to watch him bowl," he added.