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Talented young batsman KL Rahul will lead the Kings XI Punjab for the first time in the upcoming edition of IPL. Ahead of the start of the season, Rahul has showered praise for ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle, calling him one of the best T20 players.

The management has shown trust in Rahul after Ravichandran Ashwin changed his base to Delhi Capitals. The youngster from Karnataka has had a magnificent couple of seasons with the Kings. He has dominated the proceedings with the bat finishing as their leading run-scorer in the two seasons.

Rahul showers praise on Gayle

As KL Rahul gear up for the 13th edition, he has heaped praise on his opening partner, Chris Gayle. Calling him as one of the best, Rahul said Gayle’s presence can only be felt from inside the dressing room.

“To have somebody like that, just the name itself, it shakes up an opponent and has so much impact. And what Chris has done for the teams he has played with, and Kings XI, is really, really unbelievable.

If you were part of the Kings XI dressing room you will know what kind of impact he has had,” Rahul told ESPNCricinfo.

KL Rahul showers praise on Chris Gayle (Credit: IPL)

Furthermore, KL Rahul said that Chris Gayle is very open as a person and helps youngsters day in and out. The West Indian giant began his IPL career with Kolkata Knight Riders before moving to Royal Challengers Bangalore. He rose to his potential under Virat Kohli before joining Kings XI Punjab.

“He is somebody who is very, very open to talking to youngsters and helping other people out. He comes in with so much T20 experience. He is by far one of the best T20 players ever.

You know that when he walks in and when it’s his day, no matter how good the bowling line-up or an opponent, he will take them down and he will win the match. So to have somebody like that is a blessing,” said Rahul.

KL Rahul will hope Chris Gayle to fire and deliver the good for his side as Kings XI Punjab chase their maiden trophy.