Punjab Kings’ acting captain Mayank Agarwal said that the possibility of opening the innings with offensive batsmen Chris Gayle or David Malan in the absence of Lokesh Rahul is yet to be discussed. Regular leader Rahul needs surgery to treat the appendix. He is unlikely to join the team anytime soon, but the team hoped he would return within a week to 10 days after surgery at a Mumbai hospital.
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The Indian Premier League (IPL) is being held in a biosecure environment and if Rahul is not granted a waiver, he will have to go through segregation and in such a situation he may opt out of the tournament which ends on May 30. After the defeat against the Delhi Capitals on Sunday night, Aggarwal said, “This (starting an innings with Gayle or Malan) is something we have to talk about but this time we are following our strategy and we have scored well.” Maybe we scored 10 less. ‘
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Aggarwal scored an unbeaten 99, but his fellow opener Prabhasimran Singh managed only 15 runs. Gayle (13) and Malan (26) are third and fourth respectively. Punjab scored 166 for six and the team lost by seven wickets. Asked about changes in foreign players in the playing XI and balancing the squad with regular chances for all-rounders such as Moises Henriques, Agarwal said, “We will consider this in the future.” When Delhi Capital’s batting was noticed, we had to bowl better to get a wicket that we could not. We support bowlers do it for us. Aggarwal admitted that playing the hero is not difficult but that this responsibility changes the attitude towards the game.