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Out of depth, Bangalore opt for Gayle force

cricket Updated: Apr 20, 2011 00:54 IST
Rohit Bhaskar
Rohit Bhaskar
Hindustan Times
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It was in Bangalore during the IPL-IV auction that the West Indies opener Chris Gayle had to face the ignominy of remaining unsold. Life came full circle for the hard-hitting southpaw when it emerged on Tuesday that the city's IPL franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore, had decided to sign the 31-year-old as a replacement for Australian pacer Dirk Nannes - who has been ruled out for the season with a side strain and has returned home.

The West Indian, who played for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the first three seasons of the T20 league, was not picked by any team during the auction, partly because of his $400,000 base price and West Indies's packed international schedule during the IPL.

However, after Gayle, alongside fellow seniors Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan, was dropped from the West Indies squad for the lone T20 and two ODI-series against visiting Pakistan, the Vijay Mallya-owned club snapped up his services.

The RCB have struggled this season and, barring AB de Villiers, their batting has looked woeful. The addition of Gayle to the line-up could change that in the blink of an eye if the West Indian gets going. His part-time off-spin will give skipper Daniel Vettori an additional option.

The Bangalore outfit's media manager, however, refused to confirm or deny the development.