‘Gayle Storm’ if not controlled early can do a lot of damage: Ganguly

For the second consecutive season Bangalore have been reaping the dividends of signing up explosive West Indian opener Chris Gayle, says an article in The Times Of india, adding that the left-handed batsman has almost single-handedly brought the team to the brink of playoff stage.

“Gayle’s firepower consumed another strong rival, Mumbai, on Wednesday and Pune have already experienced it first hand in the away game. The numbers themselves tell a tale. Pune’s highest run-getter is Robin Uthappa (353 runs at a strike rate of 115.35) but Steven Smith is the one who has provided some spark (301 runs at 142.65). Juxtapose this with Gayle’s 515 runs at a strike rate of 149.27 and AB de Villiers’ 292 at 171.76 - how Pune wished they had some of Bangalore’s ammunition in their arsenal!.”

Pune captain Sourav Ganguly didn’t mince words about how Gayle could make mince-meat of his bowlers. “You have to get him out, that’s the only way. Bangalore have handled him well by asking him to bat through the 20overs.If he does that, he could do a lot of damage,” the former India skipper conceded here on Thursday.

Meanwhile Deccan Chargers captain Kumar Sangakkara has predicted that Kolkata Knight Riders will win the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). “On form, I’d say Kolkata (Knight Riders),” Sangakkara said. “Kolkata have been playing exceptionally well. I think you have to give credit to the way Gautam (Gambhir) has managed to get those guys to gel together. They have some top quality in that side,” he said, according to a DNA report.

Meanwhile a report in Hindustan Times says that keeping their temper in check seems to have become a problem for Mumbai Indians players. “After Munaf Patel was fined twice for boorish behaviour, skipper Harbhajan Singh joined him as he argued with the umpire for not giving Kumar Sangakkara out. Now, it’s Rohit Sharma who has fallen on the wrong side of the law. In the comprehensive defeat against Royal Challengers, Rohit’s part time spin was smashed by Chris Gayle and the player kicked the stumps in frustration after the big-hitting West Indian player’s match winning hit. Rohit was reprimanded for breaching the IPL code of conduct after admitting his mistake.”