Rahmanullah Gurbaz's batting is a slight copy of MS Dhoni: Gavaskar

by IANS |

New Delhi, Feb 12 (IANS) Former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar advocated for the inclusion of Rahmanullah Gurbaz in the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) playing XI, highlighting that the Afghan wicketkeeper-batter's batting style is a "slight copy of MS Dhoni".

Gurbaz, known for his swashbuckling approach, had caught Gavaskar's eye with his explosive batting prowess. With Mitchell Starc, Andre Russell, and Sunil Narine expected to secure three of the four overseas slots, Gurbaz faced competition from Jason Roy for the final spot. Gavaskar's endorsement added weight to Gurbaz's bid for inclusion.

"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,” said Gavaskar to Star Sports.

In 11 innings during the 2023 IPL, Gurbaz scored 227 runs at a dismal average of 20.64. He only managed two fifties, the finest of which came against the Gujarat Titans at the Eden Gardens when he blasted 81 runs off of 39 deliveries.

Shifting focus to the team's Indian batting contingent, Gavaskar highlighted the importance of seasoned players like Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana and Venkatesh Iyer, particularly singling out Rinku Singh for his exceptional performances in recent times.

Despite Shreyas Iyer's absence in the previous season due to injury, Rinku, Nitish, and Venkatesh had proven their mettle as KKR's top run-scorers.

"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," he added.

KKR finished seventh in the IPL 2023 points table with six wins in fourteen games

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