Royal Challengers Bangalore player Chris Gayle prepares to bat during a practice session ahead of the Indian Premier League 2012 at Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore. PTI Photo by Shailendra Bhojak
It is a team which decided against retaining him while he was a part of it but West Indian Chris Gayle, who is now flourishing playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore, says he has no hard feelings for Kolkata Knight Riders owners.
The Jamaican was seen exchanging pleasantries with his KKR owner Shah Rukh Khan after their match and Gayle said he has no grudge against the Knight Riders.
Describing Khan as a "very friendly" person, Gayle said: "Obviously, I had been a part of KKR (few years ago). He (Shah Rukh) is a respectable and loving man. I was just happy to see him again."
"There is no grudge. We are all family. In the middle, you are fighting a battle and both teams would want to win. But in this format, there is never going to be a grudge."
Gayle's 86 off 58 balls was not enough to see Royal Challengers Bangalore through while chasing 191 as they lost by 47 runs in their return leg fixture against KKR here last night.
"It's unfortunate to be on the losing side. But that's the game of cricket. (Gautam) Gambhir batted well and we had two tough chances," Gayle said about the two reprieves Gambhir got while batting on 5 and 13.
Gayle said chasing 191 was always going to be difficult especially against the spinners on a slow Eden wicket.
"On this sort of a wicket, 160-170 would have been a good total to chase... Then KKR's two spinners played a big part in restricting our run flow. 191 was always going to be difficult on this surface. Losing early wickets set us on the backfoot," he said.
Mystery spinner Sunil Narine bowled miserly yet again with 1/11 from his four overs and Gayle said it was difficult playing against his compatriot.
"He is a mystery bowler. He can get the ball turn go both ways. On better surface you may try to get on a top of him. But it was difficult on this surface."
Gambhir's Man of the Match performance of 93 also drew praise from the West Indian.
"You have got to give him the credit. He set up his team very well. He has played his part excellently and he is a quality player."
Gayle may be leading the batsmen's tally with 336 runs from seven outings to hold the Orange Cap but he said his focus was to bring the team back on winning track.
"I'm not going to focus on the Orange Cap... It's just a secondary thing for me. As a team-man, I always look at team's benefit. A win is more important for us. I just hope that we return to winning ways soon."