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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Cricket Columns

I always take care of my bats to ensure they fulfill expectations: Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle
April 27, 2013
First Published: 00:55 IST(27/4/2013)
Last Updated: 00:58 IST(27/4/2013)

I'm happy to be back at the Wankhede and let me assure you, that has nothing to do with the stadium's short boundaries. Long or short boundaries, it makes no difference to my approach.

Ultimately, it comes down to selecting the right ball to go for a big hit. I know the expectations will be huge, courtesy Tuesday's knock, but this is a new challenge and we start from scratch.

Of course, we would love to get the same start we had to the Pune game but it's a totally different scenario and I'm making no predictions.

Momentum, as you know, is so important in a T20 match, and while there's no doubt that a flurry of sixes can go a long way towards helping you gain some, the bowlers are just as determined to make things hard for you.

However, I relish the challenge of finding different ways to get the job done. Having a good bat certainly helps. There's been a lot of attention on mine in recent days with people speculating on how heavy it is.

I can tell you that yes, my bat does have some weight on it but it suits me in the same way that others would go for whatever bat suits them.

My kit usually comprises of five bats and I pay enough attention to each of them to make sure they are up to my expectations.

Master’s territory
I need no reminding that playing the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede means we are on Sachin Tendulkar's territory.

We hope he hasn't reserved his birthday treat to the fans for today.

As much as we'd like to get him out early, when you look at the other great batters in the Mumbai roster like Dinesh Karthik, Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard, you know you have your task cut out.

I'll be coming up against my West Indian teammates in Smithy and Pollard but there'll be no room for sentiment during the game.

No verbal banter
I don't particularly indulge in verbal banter on the eve of a game where I'll be competing against my national team colleagues.

We're all competitive cricketers with nothing to prove to each other and with a common aim — to win the game and try and entertain the crowd along the way.

It is great to see so many West Indian players excelling in the league, which is good news for West Indian cricket.

I believe this can be attributed to winning the T20 World Cup as that victory gave most of the guys you are seeing, the opportunity to play in the T20 league.

PMG
The writer is RCB opener


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