Gavaskar Backs Gurbaz: A Dhoni-Style Dynamo for Kolkata Knight Riders

Sunil Gavaskar endorses Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s inclusion in KKR, lauding his aggressive MS Dhoni-esque batting. Gurbaz eyes a spot among overseas stalwarts.

Sunil Gavaskar, the former Indian cricketer, has advocated for the inclusion of Rahmanullah Gurbaz in the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) playing XI, emphasizing that the Afghan wicketkeeper-batsman’s style bears a resemblance to the legendary MS Dhoni.

Gavaskar, impressed by Gurbaz’s explosive batting prowess, pointed out that the aggressive nature of Gurbaz’s batting, akin to a “slight copy of MS Dhoni,” has caught his attention. In the competition for the final overseas slot, where Mitchell Starc, Andre Russell, and Sunil Narine are expected to secure three spots, Gurbaz faces competition from Jason Roy. Gavaskar’s endorsement adds significant weight to Gurbaz’s bid for inclusion in the team.

Expressing his admiration for Gurbaz, Gavaskar stated to Star Sports, “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.”

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During the 2023 IPL, Gurbaz, in 11 innings, scored 227 runs with an average of 20.64. Despite the modest average, he managed to produce notable performances, including a fine innings of 81 runs off 39 deliveries against the Gujarat Titans at the Eden Gardens.

Shifting the focus to the Indian batting contingent of the team, Sunil Gavaskar underscored the significance of seasoned players such as Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana, and Venkatesh Iyer. He particularly highlighted Rinku Singh for his outstanding performances in recent times.

Despite Shreyas Iyer’s absence in the previous season due to injury, Rinku Singh, Nitish Rana, and Venkatesh Iyer had showcased their abilities as KKR’s leading run-scorers. Gavaskar acknowledged the challenge of playoff qualification, emphasizing the importance of experience on pitches and in the IPL. He expressed confidence in the capabilities of these players who have not only faced the pressure but have excelled in handling it, citing Rinku Singh’s exceptional performances in the last year as particularly noteworthy.

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Reflecting on the team’s performance in IPL 2023, where they finished seventh in the points table with six wins in fourteen games, Gavaskar acknowledged the need for a concerted effort to secure a playoff spot in the upcoming season.