Virender Sehwag has said he is not surprised at Royal Challengers Bangalore's (RCB) decision to not retain West Indies' big-hitter Chris Gayle ahead of the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season 11.
The former India opener though opined only a "stupid" decision will prevent the Bangalore-based franchise from getting Yuzvendra Chahal back in the team by using Right to Match (RTM) card at the mega auction, scheduled for January 27 and 28.
All eight franchises, including Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) who are returning after a two-year suspension, were allowed to retain a maximum of five players (combination of pre-auction retentions (max 3) and RTMs during auction).
While the likes of CSK and Mumbai Indians (MI) retained players on the expected lines, RCB threw a surprise when they preferred uncapped player Sarfaraz Khan for Rs 3 crore over Team India leg-spinner Chahal.
"I don't know at what price he [Chahal] will go but RCB will definitely use RTM for him. If they don't, then they will be stupid," Sehwag said, as quoted by Sportskeeda website.
A few eyebrows were raised when RCB did not retain Chahal as the 27-year-old has been in phenomenal form at the international level, in the shortest format.
The wrist-spinner, who has gone on to become captain Virat Kohli's go-to-man in the limited-overs format since making his debut in 2016, has picked up 26 T20I wickets at a staggering average of 15.92.
Chahal has also been the most successful bowler for RCB ever since joining the team in 2014. In 56 matches for RCB, the Haryana leggie has picked up 70 wickets.
Sehwag talks about Gayle snub
Skipper Kohli, who is now the costliest IPL player after bagging Rs 17 crore, and South African sensation AB de Villiers were their other two retentions made by RCB.
It remains to be seen if Gayle will return to the Bengaluru club as his form - both at the international and franchise-cricket level - has dipped over the last few seasons. Notably, the swashbuckling opener struggled in the 2017 season, managing only 200 runs at 22.22.
Gayle though shot back to form when he hit a couple of centuries in the recently-concluded Bangaldesh Premier League (BPL). Notably, he led Rangpur Riders to glory after smashing an unbeaten 69-ball 146 in the final.
"Gayle is now getting old. He is not the same Gayle that he once was. Last year, he played in the IPL and his performance wasn't at that level that he was once renowned for," Sehwag said.
He added: "Teams take into account this factor when they enter the auction. Maybe RCB might go after Gayle again at the auction."