What happens when RCB drop Chris Gayle?
Gujarat Lions pay the price.
Christopher Henry Gayle had been at the cusp of 10,000 T20 runs since the opening fixture of this IPL season. However, a string of bad outings clubbed with a packed overseas line-up in RCB and the West Indian was dropped for a few matches.
In Rajkot though, against Gujarat Lions, he was back in the XI after AB de Villiers declared himself unfit due to an injury. 77 runs and a victory later, Chris Gayle, on the live broadcast declared, “The Universe Boss is still here and still alive.”
First to 10,000
Just three runs short of becoming the first cricketer to amass 10k T20 runs at the start of the match, Gayle reached the landmark when he took a single off Lions’ pacer Basil Thampi in the fourth over of the RCB innings.
Gayle went on to score a characteristic 38-ball 77 in his 290th Twenty20 match to tally to 10,074 runs. His time in the middle was sprinkled with seven maximums and five boundaries.
Lease of Life
Gayle however, did have a little help.
In the fifth delivery of the eighth over, he smashed another one of his aerial shots to the boundary line. However, Brendon McCullum managed to intercept the ball.
Already on his way to the pavilion, Gayle’s return was halted when the umpires asked for help from upstairs. McCullum’s floppy hat had touched the boundary line while he dived. The connection was there and the third umpire allowed Gayle to bat on.
The 37-year-old towering Jamaican, who was playing in his 285th Twenty20 innings, has a batting average of 40-plus in the shortest format of the game with 18 hundreds and 61 half centuries. His strike rate is nearly 150 and his highest T20 score is a 175.
Gayle is no doubt a giant of a cricketer in the T20 format. The difference in run aggregate between Gayle and the next-highest in the T20s -- Brendon McCullum (7524 runs from 272 matches) of New Zealand -- is 2550.
The difference between the number of sixes hit by Gayle (743) and the next-highest in T20s -- Kieron Pollard (459) -- is 284.
Gayle, who made his international debut in September 1999, has not announced retirement from Test or ODI cricket though he has not played either format in more than two years. He last played a Test match in September 2014 against Bangladesh. His last ODI was in March 2015 against New Zealand in Wellington.
Gayle has scored 7214 Test runs from 103 matches at an average of 42.18, with 15 centuries and 37 half centuries. He has played 269 ODIs from which he has scored 9221 runs at an average of 37.33 with 22 hundreds and 47 fifties.
He has also scored 1519 runs from the 50 Twenty20 Internationals he has played.
(With inputs from PTI)