India, April 26 -- I'd like to thank all my well-wishers and fans for their complimentary words following my knock against Pune. You should know there's nothing I enjoy more than entertaining you, and you have my word that I'll continue looking to do that till the end of my career. Was getting to 200 a possibility? I honestly think it was possible. Looking back, given the rate at which I was going, I suppose I could have got there.
Of course, it depended on things falling into place. But all said and done, I'll gladly settle for 175 not out.
It's funny in a way because when rain interrupted play in the second over, I remember sitting in a corner talking to Ravi Rampaul. I was telling him that the pitch was one serious batting wicket.
In the few balls I had faced before the sky opened up, I felt really good about how nicely the ball was coming on to the bat, and I told Ravi we needed to get at least 180 runs on that wicket.
At that point at least, I never imagined I would come so close to getting that many runs myself.
Many feel I make it look so easy. Well, there's no substitute for the hard yards you've got to put in. A bit of talent is obviously a plus, but there's a strong reason why they say 'practice makes perfect'.
Also, having played over 10 years of international cricket has helped me accumulate a lot of experience, which certainly comes in handy on days like Tuesday.
I've realised that as you keep playing, you never stop discovering new things about yourself.
So, it's really a continuous learning process. One of the key things I learnt very early on is the importance of training my mind to be calm when I'm out in the middle.
Keeping your feet firmly on the ground helps you best assess what is happening around you.
It's certainly not easy to avoid being swept away by a rush of blood, which is exactly why it is an art I have consciously worked hard at mastering; and it's helped me a great deal.
Now, what is it that Jamaicans do right to produce world beaters? We're hard workers, plain and simple.
People only see what you do on the day of a match; what they don't see is the vast amount of effort that is put in behind the scenes. Trust me, we work our butts off.
One question I am often asked is what advice would I give children who want to grow up to be like Gayle.
My answer will always be that kids need to become themselves when they grow up. What works for me will not necessarily work for them.
You need to know what you want from life and keep climbing that mountain in order to get there; it's achievable.
The writer is RCB opener
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.