By CricketCountry Staff
Kingston: Jul 8, 2012
West Indies destructive opener Chris Gayle has become a thorn in the flesh of the New Zealand team. Gayle yet again gave a solid start to the hosts as New Zealand were beaten in the second One-Day International (ODI) on Saturday.
The opener scored a blistering 125 runs off 107 balls as the hosts set a huge target of 316 runs.
New Zealand bowlers feel Gayle’s wicket will be crucial in the remaining ODIs. Fast bowler Tim Southee said, “We firmly believe that if we get [Gayle] early we've got a very good chance of running through the rest of them and getting a score that we can chase down.
"There's a few of their guys that haven't actually had a lot of batting, so if we can get a couple of early wickets then I'm sure we can make the most of that."
Gayle returned to international cricket in the recent ODI series in England after a fall-out with the national board.
On his return, Gayle hasn’t shown any rustiness despite being away from the game for one year.
However Gayle is not infallible, feels Southee.
"He's obviously in some fine form," Southee was quoted by New Zealand Herald. "He's a serious player and can destroy any attack on his day. He's only human so it's not like we don't think we can get him out."
He added, "He's scored the majority of their runs and he's been a massive influence in their success so far."
"The first 10 balls we bowl to him are crucial," said Southee. "He tends to have a look and sort of set himself. He's a little bit vulnerable early doors, and we just need to come up with a plan now to do it.
"If we can work on the first couple of overs to him and stick to the plans a bit more, then hopefully we can put some pressure on him."
Gayle averages an impressive 188 in the ongoing ODI series with a century in the second ODI.