Be ready for Gayle storm once again, Chris is raring to roar in IPL V

It’s good to be back, said Chris Gayle after arriving in India for the Indian Premier League (IPL). “The hospitality here is always good and I think I’m most welcome here again,” he said, according to a report in The Times Of India.
Gayle also said that he was looking forward to IPL-V. “Hopefully I can have a better tournament than the last one.” God help the eight other teams in the fray in IPL V should that happen, for last time around, despite coming in as a replacement after RCB had played a few matches, Gayle notched over 600 runs for the Orange Cap, writes TOI.

“The expectation is high, based on what happened last year. But last year is history and we don’t know what the future holds,” was Gayle’s pragmatic view.

Meanwhile its Australia’s Glenn Maxwell that TA Sekar calls as “the pick of the season.”  Sekar banks on this 23-yearold all-rounder from Victoria to deliver just like Warner, says a report in The Times Of India. It was he who had persuaded the Daredevils management to sign David Warner in October 2008 even before he had made a mark in Australian cricket. Maxwell is the latest in the line of unknown but promising players. “I had seen four knocks of Warner in Australia and I knew he will do well for Australia as well. Similarly, after seeing Maxwell play, I believe he will be close to playing for Australia by 2013. He could be the star this season just like Shaun Marsh became one in the first edition,” reckoned Sekar.

According to a report in the Indian Express, the teams aren’t going to get a friendly track even on their own dens. The report says that curators will be preparing sporting wickets after learning from last year’s experience when they were criticized for the favouring their teams.

“Curator Prabir Mukherjee of Edeen Gardens has refused to give any assurance to the Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir about the kind of wickets he asked for. Rather, Mukherjee will prepare sporting tracks after learning from last year’s experience when the Eden wicket was criticised for being slow by captains — MS Dhoni and Shane Warne,” says the report, adding that Mukherjee wasn’t the only curator who was not willing to alter pitches to suit the home team.

“IPL teams are unlikely to get any home advantage in the fifth season. On Friday, when asked about the criticism directed at the Eden Gardens pitch last season, KKR all rounder Ryan ten Doeschate said: “Dhoni shouldn’t make any comment. Chennai has one of the slowest tracks in India.”

Meanwhile a report in Hindustan Times says that ageing stars tweak their body & game to cash in on IPL riches. “In a career spanning over 16 years, Rahul Dravid earned the same amount through match fees as Ravindra Jadeja has got from the IPL in eight weeks,” says the report, adding, “Over the last couple of seasons, you might have thought many times that you had seen the last of them. But the `oldies' are not ready yet to give up on the fun and games that the IPL is.

That they could beat younger men in their own game was proved in the first edition. A genius, who goes around by the name of Shane Warne, rose like a phoenix from the ashes of retirement and led a bunch of no-hopers to the IPL triumph, underlining the epithet, “The best captain Australia never had“ in the process. Unfortunately, he won't be around this time, neither will his glamorous actress girlfriend Liz Hurley. For many, that's going to make Warne's absence even more conspicuous and poignant!”

Nevertheless, Adam Gilchrist, pushing 41, Muttiah Muralitharan, touching 40, and India's own troika of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly, all closing in on 40, are set to strut their stuff one more time. “They may not have someone like Hurley in tow, won't be adventurous enough to take a swig of beer during the match or practice with a cigarette in hand, or have the impetuosity to brawl with powerful officials, but they all can play as well as that maverick Australian. So cheer up, that's no small consolation,” writes HT.