If Don Bradman, Sunil Gavaskar, Viv Richards, Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Brian Lara all redefined the way Test and ODIs were played, Chris Gayle -- with his explosive hits -- will leave his mark on T20 cricket.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore opener is 63 runs short of becoming the first batsman to score 10,000 runs in T20 cricket. The Jamaican has almost all the records a batsman would like to hold in T20 -- most centuries (18) half-centuries (60), sixes (732) and fours (759), from 286 matches.
In an interview with Hindustan Times, Gayle spoke about his staggering T20 numbers, how he would like to be branded in T20 and why RCB skipper Virat Kohli’s captaincy is infectious.
You are close to the 10,000-run mark in T20...
That will be incredible. It would be an achievement. It’s not easy. So many guys have done it in international cricket with over 10,000 runs in Test and ODIs.
I will be the first to score 10,000 runs in T20s. I backed myself and will keep pressing down to see how many more runs I can add on.
Did you expect this success in T20 when you started?
Not really. I mean no one knew when T20 cricket started. As it grew, as individual and within the sport, you learn more, set out to do different things. You start to exploit it and when it works for you then you get creative as well. And then you do what works for your game.
I am known for big-hitting, but since the T20s came in, my God, it has changed the entire script of cricket, which is fantastic. As an individual, it has made a lot of changes as well (to batting). I am thankful for it. Hopefully, I still have more efforts left within me to break more records and just keep entertaining.
How would you like to brand yourself, the Don Bradman of T20 cricket?
(Laughs). I am the Chris Gayle of cricket, the king, the universal boss of T20 cricket, if you want to put it that way or however people want to brand it. I will be my own man in T20 cricket.
Do you think Virat Kohli can acheive the 1000-run landmark, which he missed narrowly in the last IPL?
Anything is possible. Any batsman who is in good form gets a good start and is in the momentum, it is definitely achievable. So, never say never.
What do you see as the most exciting aspect of Virat Kohli’s captaincy?
His aggression. We missed that a couple of years ago. He has taken it into international cricket and now he is the Indian captain. His aggression, passion... those things and the guys feed off his energy as well. That’s what is required as a captain to standout.
RCB missed the IPL trophy last time. Will that motivate the team this time?
It (loss in the IPL final) certainly won’t affect us. When you look at the scenario (the team was in) and to pull through to reach the final, it was a great achievement. We were disappointed not to win, but we were also thankful to make it to the final. We are up against the same team (Sunrisers Hyderabad) in the opening match, so we can get our revenge and also go one-up on them.
You play in almost all T20 leagues in the world. Where do you place IPL?
IPL is No 1. That goes without saying. I am sure everyone will second or third it that the IPL is the No 1 league in the world. There are other competitive leagues as well but IPL stands out not only because of the big pay cheque but all international guys get a chance to play against each other and where every team have a chance to win. Everybody wants entertainment and that’s why we are here for.
A camera will be fixed under the batsman’s helmet. Will it be comfortable?
I have done it before in the Big Bash League. I don’t think there’s too much of a problem. It helps the viewers get a different view of the bowler running in and that sort of things. It just gives the fans a different feel. That’s T20 cricket where you will always have different means to provide more entertainment.