Home > Features >

IPL 2014: Onus on Chris Gayle to take Royal Challengers Bangalore all the way

Chris Gayle can be devastating on the bowlers in the T20 format © IANS
Chris Gayle can be devastating on the bowlers in the T20 format © IANS

Chris Gayle had a tough time during the ICC World T20 2014 and approaches another Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign with promise to deliver. Nishad Pai Vaidya writes about Gayle’s value to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

Statistics would tell you that the Indian Premier League (IPL) is Chris Gayle’s turf. The two-time Orange Cap winner found his true touch for the format during his tryst with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). His mindboggling exploits with the bat have baffled bowlers and amazed spectators. There is a sense that he is more comfortable at home when he comes over for his willow becomes a ferocious prospect and can single handedly destroy any bowling attack. Bangalore would hope he gets back into his best touch ahead of the IPL 2014.

Gayle wasn’t in the best touch during the recent ICC World T20 2014. Barring the half-century against Australia, where he was irked by some banter by James Faulkner, Gayle didn’t get going and struggled to make an impact. Gayle doesn’t run hard between the wickets and it was even more apparent during the World T20. Plus, he usually takes his time in the middle before the brutal assault. During the World T20, that brutal assault did not come as his knocks were nipped in the bud. Those weren’t good signs for Bangalore, but one may say he is just one knock away from bouncing back.

Perhaps Gayle may be putting himself under a lot of pressure by taking time early on. Yes, he does have the ability to catch up. You can only afford to take that time in this format if you have the exceptional ability to smash a ball at will. While that has worked for Gayle most of the time, it still bears a few risks as it may end up putting pressure on the batsmen at the other end and the lower-order if he gets out early. Then, they are left with a lot to do and they may not be able to find the boundaries as consistently as Gayle does.

When Gayle starts off well, it not only puts the opposition on the back-foot, but the camp also starts feeling a lot better. Here is someone who can keep going and early signs are often ominous of a bigger assault in store. When Gayle takes his time, there is that lurking danger, but the opposition also gets hopeful of getting him out soon to put pressure on the side.

When compared to the West Indies, Gayle may have a better time with Bangalore. He has Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Yuvraj Singh to follow. This is a formidable middle-order and Gayle can take his chances upfront. He is much better when he is more expressive and perhaps this depth in batting may give more freedom. He isn’t going to run a lot, but will make up for it with those boundaries if he gets in his zone.

Some of Gayle’s T20 stats are simply stupendous. He starts the IPL 2014 as the leading run-scorer in the format. Consider this: Gayle’s 5,992 runs in T20s overall have come off 164 matches, while the next best Brad Hodge took 217 matches for his 5,884 runs. In the IPL, Gayle has scored 2,512 runs in 59 matches and is on the third spot. Suresh Raina, the leading run-scorer has played 40 more matches but is only around 300 runs ahead. Plus, Gayle has smashed the most sixes in the tournament i.e. 180. Raina is second at 115. These numbers do tell you why Gayle stands out from the rest and is clearly the best T20 batsman going around. Things haven’t looked good for him off-late, but the numbers do back him to come good.

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule: Match time table for IPL 7

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule & Results

Click here for IPL 2014 complete coverage

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

Afghanistan tour of UAE, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Dubai

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 25 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

Phil Hughes passes away: Video tribute

Live Cricket Score, Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 4th ODI at Dhaka: Mushfiqur dismissed

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd Test at Sharjah, Day 2: New Zealand 7/0 at lunch; trail by 344 runs

Phillip Hughes 7th-youngest Test cricketer to die

Phillip Hughes: A brief look at the career of one of Australia’s most promising talents

Phillip Hughes: Rest in peace

Australia England India India tour of Australia 2014-15 New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 Phil Hughes Phil Hughes Death Phil Hughes head injury Phillip Hughes

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 4th ODI at Dhaka: Mushfiqur Rahim dismissed for 77

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 4th ODI at Dhaka: Mahmudullah scores crucial fifty

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 4th ODI at Dhaka: Mushfiqur Rahim scores fifty

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 3rd Test at Sharjah: New Zealand 7/0 at lunch; trail by 344 runs

Phil Hughes passes away: Australia mourn as newspapers pay rich tribute

Phillip Hughes’ death: What happens to India vs Australia Test series?

Phillip Hughes 63 not out, forever

Henry Blofeld: Nephew of an England captain?

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: Pakistan top-order prevails once again

Prakash Bhandari: The teenage prodigy BCCI could not capitalise on

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

Operation to arrest Rampal cost over Rs 26 crore

Phillip Hughes death: Australia, Cricket community continues to rally around Sean Abbott

6 beauty benefits of essential oils

फिलिप ह्यूज के निधन पर रशेल ने संवेदना जताई

Deepika Padukone to star alongside Saif Ali Khan in Sujoy Ghosh’s next?

Picture perfect: 5 times Salman Khan looked dreamier than the pictures he painted!

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here