It was quite a sight to watch Chris Gayle at work on Friday night. Purely from a bowler’s perspective, it is also a relief that I am retired from all forms of the game, and don't have to bowl to him anywhere except in the nets, and that too only if I want to!
What makes Chris special is the sheer power he brings with him. As a bowler, you can't help but think that if you get it even slightly wrong, you will disappear a long way.
He is a brutal striker of the ball, perhaps the hardest hitter in world cricket, and we saw that time and again against the Kolkata Knight Riders.
It doesn't matter to him if it is a fast bowler or a spinner --- he can smash the ball when he is in the mood. As a bowler, you know that either you get him out cheaply, or you suffer big time.
GAYLE obvious CHOICE
When the Royal Challengers were looking for a replacement for the injured Dirk Nannes, we explored all options.
We knew we had overseas fast-bowling backup in the form of Nuwan Pradeep, Charl Langeveldt and Johan van der Wath, so we started to look for a batsman, and the first name that sprang to mind was obvisouly Chris.
He had just been left out of the West Indies one-day squad and, therefore, availability was not an issue. It was the uncertainty over how long he would be available that was the reason for him being unsold in the auction.
But once we knew he could be with us for the duration of this tournament, we immediately decided to pursue him.
ZAK NEEDS TO FIRE
Chris brings that fear factor with him that can have such a deep-rooted psychological impact. We put ourselves in the boots of the opposition and thought what kind of an impact the opening combination of Gayle and Dilshan would make.
The commanding nine-wicket win will give the team a great deal of confidence, but we need to get our bowling right.
We got away thanks to Chris, but to concede 170 on that Eden pitch wasn't the best effort. Zaheer is finding it a little difficult at the moment, and we need him to fire.
We also need the younger bowlers to come to the party over the next few games. Hawkeye