New Delhi: May 18, 2012
Gayle knocked the stuffing out of Delhi Daredevils bowlers during his whirlwind century, which propelled RCB to a convincing win and keep them in contention for securing a play-off berth in this edition of the cash-rich T20 league.
"We next play Deccan (Chargers) and are looking to continue in the same vein," he said after the high-scoring match at the Feroz Shah Kotla last night.
The win, according to Gayle, was important as it came against the table-toppers, already assured of a place in the play-offs.
"They have got one of the better bowling attacks in the IPL. Morne Morkel (rested for the match) missed out but they have a very balanced team. It was important for us to win in Delhi," said the Orange Cap holder, who has already amassed over 700 runs in IPL-V.
Known for providing his team with blistering starts, Gayle, off late, has changed his approach, resorting to watchful play at the start of an innings, but he said it is not deliberate.
"It's not deliberate to be honest. At times you get off to solid starts. On occasions the bowlers bowl four good balls. You have to respect the bowlers, the good deliveries.
"Once you get set on a good wicket and in a small ground, you can take it from there. When you get the chance you have to cash in on it," said Gayle, who, though, is not bothered about the statistical peaks he has been scaling in the IPL.
Asked if he has undergone any transformation over the past few years, Gayle said, "(I am the) same Chris, enjoy the game. Guess, I get more sleep."
RCB skipper and Delhi boy Virat Kohli said he was fortunate to be leading a side that has no dearth of experience.
"They really support me as captain. As a young captain, you fall short of ideas at times. But they have been very helpful. I do discuss with them whatever I want to do. In the latter stages, maybe an experienced guy would take over.
"AB (de Villiers) has captained South Africa. Chris has led West Indies. Dan (Daniel Vettori) has led New Zealand, (Tillakaratne) Dilshan has been the captain of Sri Lanka, Zaheer (Khan) is a very experienced player and Murali (Muttiah Muralitharan) has tons of experience," said Kohli.
Kohli too played some attractive shots on his way to a half century, and he said it was crucial for him to have hit form ahead of the coming matches.
"I wasn't doing too well... It was important for me to have hit form and I hope to continue it. Fell very good. It was an important match for us."
Though the batsmen, led by the redoubtable Gayle, dominated the show, Kohli did not forget to appreciate his bowlers.
"I appreciate the bowlers performance and they are really satisfied with the show. We have won by 21 runs. It was important for the bowlers to be cool and execute their plans."
And asked about the scenario if regular skipper Vettori returns to side, Kohli mentioned that it was not easy to leave out the experienced foreign pros.
As per IPL rules, a side is not entitled to field more than four foreigners in a match.
"It's very hard to make someone like Murali sit out but that's the nature of IPL. The foreign stars understand that," he said. (PTI)