IPL veteran Chris Gayle is still learning at Kings XI Punjab
IPL veteran Chris Gayle is having a ball the Kings XI Punjab's practice session. Image Credit: Twitter

Dubai: Think innovation - then have a look at the innovative means one particular franchise has in place to keep their fans engaged as the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) prepares to take off this weekend.

An unique exercise has been taking place at the Kings XI Punjab training sessions for the past few days, as the team’s social media has put out images and videos where their marquee bowlers have been practising their range hitting while the main batsmen have been entrusted to try their hand at bowling.

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There has been a complete role reversal at the KXIP training camp in the UAE, which all started with the team’s social media handles posting a video of experienced pacer Mohammad Shami padded up, having a hit in the nets session.

Similar posts have continued to pop up in which the hard-hitting Chris Gayle preparing for a bowl and that too with a yellow tennis ball.

Even better is a video of head coach Anil Kumble taking guard as batting coach as Wasim Jaffer sent down some loopy leg breaks to him.

Known for his superb fielding and catching abilities during his hey days, fielding coach Jonty Rhodes has not been spared either as a video depicts Mayank Agarwal imparting fielding drills and catching practice to the South African.

The video found instant liking among the ‘Sadda Punjab’ faithful with more than 20,000 alone liking it. “Come on youngster, you’re better than that,” Agarwal is heard saying as Rhodes crouches into a catching position at their practice session at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

“Come on Jonty, your feet can do better,” Agarwal insists even as Rhodes goes down on his knees to take a low catch.

And while these posts have kicked up a storm on social media with many fans wondering what the team management was trying to achieve with those role reversals, the posts have further challenged fans to delve on what’s happening at Kings XI Punjab with their cryptic posts and peculiar training sessions.

Meanwhile, the KXIP management has also been busy behind the scenes trying to figure out the perfect playing XI for Sunday’s opener against the Delhi Capitals. The post has suggested three different options of a perfect playing XI while mentioning that “the aforementioned line-ups are an educated guess at best” and also that “the final decision rests with the captain and the team management depending on various external factors”.