Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Chris Gayle plays a shot during the IPL Twenty20 cricket match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. AFP/Indranil Mukherjee
Chris Gayle is savouring another wonderful IPL season after infusing some method to his perceived madness.
With 572 runs, most of them scored with some serious whipping of the bowlers, Gayle has been the most prized wicket although the Royal Challengers Bangalore are still some way from ensuring a play-off berth.
However, the holder of the orange cap as the leading run-getter, the Jamaican left-hander has perfected his new method of playing cautiously at the start before targetting the weak links in the opposition bowling set up.
Against Mumbai Indians, he smashed left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha four three sixes in an over; against Pune, he treated bowlers like Krishnakant Upadhyay, South African pacer Alfonso Thomas and Bhuvneshwar Kumar with disdain but was guarded against Sri Lanka all-rounder Angelo Mathews.
Mumbai Indians mentor, Shaun Pollock, the former South Africa all-rounder said: "Gayle has been consistent. There are many people who can hit the ball out of the ground but he has been most regular of the lot."
‘We'll have to stop Gayle and AB’
Keeping his cards close to the chest, Mumbai Indians' coach Shaun Pollock said his team certainly has a plan for RCB's batting line-up but hopes Chris Gayle and Abraham de Villiers do not fire against them.
“We will be in trouble if we made our strategy against RCB public. Obviously, we have a strategy against RCB which we would like to keep within the four walls of the dressing room,” Pollock said.
Mumbai Indians have a plan up their sleeves against Gayle and want to see his back early in the innings, Pollock said adding, “If we get him early it will be a big blow for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.”