Chris Gayle, one of the best all round package at the shortest format of the game took things by stride and almost single handedly took Royal Challengers Bangalore into the finals of the Indian Premier League Season 4. His smashed bowlers at will and seemed like more than playing in a competitive format, he was rather out there to party.
But it was not long back that he was snubbed by all the 10 franchisees of the IPL owing to his performance with his previous team, the Kolkata Knight Riders. Well it was indeed a shock that one of the best players from the power hitting league did not find a place in a tournament where big hitting was all it required to excel. He could not come in terms with IPL in earlier editions, but little did anyone think that he would go unsold in India.
However, things changed around for Gayle and he did finally find a haven in IPL. It was none other than the liquor baron Vijay Mallya who picked him up for his side Royal Challengers Bangalore following an injury to Dirk Nannes of Australia. But his base price of $400,000 was still a gamble to make but the ‘King of Good Times’ gleefully accepted him. And this decision indeed proved to the world why there can be only one Vijay Mallya.
Such a great gamble and it did not go waste. India started listening to the calypso beats as soon as Gayle wore the RCB colours and what a way to mark his renaissance in IPL, a century against his former team. He singlehandedly batted them out of the match. This indeed sent shivers down all the other nine franchisees’ spine and all of them at a point or other must have rued why they did not sign Gayle and leading the race would be KKR.
He flattered to deceive in the earlier editions but was worth every penny in the fourth edition of the IPL. Now he has been retained by RCB at an astonishing price, but there is no way one can determine as to what would be the right sum for this player who turned things drastically around for a team on his own.
Here are some of the records that he piled up in the last season and why would he give sleepless nights to other eight franchisees in fray for the IPL V.
- He played only 12 innings, six innings less as compared to other players who were in the fray to finish as the highest runs scorers of the tournament. He scored a 608 runs at an average of 67.55. He scored two centuries and three half centuries with his highest being 107 against King’s XI Punjab. He smashed 44 sixes in the last edition of the IPL, a record which is unlikely to be eclipsed. Hi strike rate of 183.13 is something which the teams would look out for.
- Only two batsmen have surpassed the 50 runs barrier for five times in IPL 4. One being Badrinath and the other being Gayle.
- He has been awarded man of the match six times, most by player in an IPL tournament.
- His ability to bowl and give breakthroughs at crucial times is an added advantage for this run machine which increases his billing even more. His best bowling performance last year was against KKXIP where he scalped three wickets for 21 runs. In all, he had taken eight wickets in 12 matches last season.
- Chris Gayle was part of three century partnership in last editions, most by any player in the tournament, establishing him as a proven team player as well.
- Chris Gayle’s 94 runs in boundaries during his century against Punjab is the highest runs in boundaries in the 2011 edition.
- Chris Gayle’s blitzkrieg against P Parameswaram of Kochi Tuskers against whom he picked up 37 runs in one over including four sixes and three fours remains most in the all the IPL seasons.
By Samikshan Dutta Choudhury
Indian Sports News