Former India captain Anil Kumble has said he is not 100% sure if Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will secure the services of T20 legend Chris Gayle again at the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, which will be held in the Garden City on January 27 and 28.
Kumble, who had skippered the Bangalore-based franchise in 2009 and 2010, added RCB's decision to drop Gayle for a few matches last year throws a hint about the West Indies opener's future with the Virat Kohli-led team.
RCB have already spent Rs 31 crore on retaining Kohli (Rs 17 crore), AB de Villiers (Rs 11 crore) and Sarfaraz Khan (Rs 3 crore). With only Rs 49 crore left in their purse, Kumble believes the two-time finalists will be cautious about splashing out on Gayle.
The dangerous opener has set his base price at Rs 2 crore and is part of the first set of marquee players who will go up for bidding during the auction.
"Possibly they [RCB] will be cautious. They have to build the entire team as well. If you looked at last year, Gayle did not play in a couple of matches for RCB. It was not because he was injured or something, he was not picked. That's a giveaway on whether they will go after him at the auction," Kumble said during Star Sports' analysis show "Game Plan - The Marquee List" on Saturday, January 20.
He added: "However, he has shown he can win games single-handedly. I think there will be other franchises who will be looking for him. But all of them will be a bit cautious. However, he is currently in good form. But I am not too sure if RCB will use the RTM for Gayle."
Will Gayle's recent form help him impress RCB?
Gayle has been a key member of the RCB unit ever since he joined the team on a one-year contract in 2011. He hit 608 runs in his inaugural season, in which he won the Orange Cap award. He topped the batting charts again in 2012 and hit 700-plus runs in the following year as well.
However, his form at RCB over the last two seasons has been a concern. Last year, Gayle warmed the benches on more than one occasion.
From nine matches, he only managed 200 runs at a below-par average of 22.22 as the team finished last on the eight-team table with just three wins from 14 matches.
However, Gayle got his timing right when he hit two centuries in the recently concluded Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). He hit an unbeaten 146 in the final to lead his franchise - Rangpur Riders - to the title.