The perfect storm
At the 2011 IPL auction in Bangalore, a West Indies swashbuckler was ignored by the owners. All the attention was on Brian Lara, whose comeback attempts were snubbed by the owners.india Updated: Mar 31, 2012 12:33 IST
At the 2011 IPL auction in Bangalore, a West Indies swashbuckler was ignored by the owners. All the attention was on Brian Lara, whose comeback attempts were snubbed by the owners. There was another West Indian, one in his prime, who also failed to land a contract - Chris Gayle. Ironically enough, the Bangalore franchise, RCB, lost pacer Dirk Nannes to injury early in the season. They needed a foreign player to bolster their title ambitions.
Enter Gayle. In his first match, against former team Kolkata Knight Riders, he blasted a 55-ball 102, to set the ball rolling. He hit another century, against the Kochi Tuskers, which included 37 runs off one over. Landing shots in the top tier of the Chinnaswamy Stadium, he even managed to find time to rough up a few Kannada television journalists.
Gayle also forged a strong partnership with Virat Kohli, getting runs in the middle with the Delhi batsman and alternating as each other's wingman during the after parties (Needless to say, the cheerleaders never stood a chance). When it was all done, he finished with 608 runs at a strike rate of 183.03 and had hit 44 sixes, 21 more than nearest competitor MS Dhoni (who played four more matches). The only thing he failed to do was fire in the final, where R Ashwin got rid of him cheaply. We won't hold that against him. Even you wouldn't if you'd seen him groove on the dance floor after the final!