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Chris Gayle’s return to form good news for Royal Challengers Bangalore: Vettori

Chris Gayle powered Royal Challengers Bangalore’s 21-run IPL 2017 win against Gujarat Lions in Rajkot. Gayle also became the first man to score 10,000 T20 runs

ipl 2017 Updated: Apr 19, 2017 19:22 IST
Harit Joshi
Harit Joshi
Hindustan Times, Rajkot
IPL 2017,Chris Gayle,Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli with teammate Chris Gayle during the IPL 2017 T20 match against Gujarat Lions in Rajkot on Tuesday. (PTI)

Chris Gayle roaring back to form with a power-packed half-century in the 21-run Indian Premier League 2017 win over Gujarat Lions on Tuesday was most pleasing for Royal Challengers Bangalore coach Daniel Vettori. (HIGHLIGHTS of GL vs RCB)

Chris Gayle first scored the three runs he needed to cross the record 10,000-run mark in T20 cricket and then smacked a 38-ball 77 to tame Gujarat Lions in their own den at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot. (SCORECARD)

The burly Jamaican had skipper Virat Kohli for company. Kohli smashed a 50-ball 64 as Royal Challengers Bangalore posted IPL 2017’s highest team total of 213 for two wickets. (STANDINGS)

Virat Kohli (R) pumps fists with teammate Chris Gayle during the 2017 Indian Premier League match between Gujarat Lions and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Tuesday. ( AFP )

Chris Gayle’s half-century was his first in 18 T20 innings.

“Good thing about international cricketers is that they probably talk to themselves more than any captain or coach talking to them about their performances.

“They take pride in their performances, they really want to contribute to the team and Chris is a really prideful man, he wants to do well for RCB, do well for any team he plays for.

“Today was his opportunity. AB (de Villiers’s) injury allowed him to come out and play. We wanted him to play with freedom and we had given him the confidence,” Vettori said after Royal Challengers Bangalore pocketed a crucial win.

RCB were rocked with injuries to AB de Villiers and Samuel Badree just a few hours before the tie and that paved way for Chris Gayle and Travis Head, who slammed a 16-ball unbeaten 30.

Vettori, nonetheless, was delighted with the performance of his overseas players.

“Chris is the strongest and powerful player on these kind of wickets and he can take any bowler down. Badree, Mills and AB were injured and to have Chris, Travis and Milne step up in these situations makes a huge difference.

“When we went to the auction we wanted to increase our bench strength and fortunately today it has come true for us,” said RCB coach Daniel Vettori.

Royal Challengers Bangalore spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (R) is congratulated by teammates after his dismissal of Gujarat Lions captain Suresh Raina at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Tuesday. ( AFP )

The other shining part of Royal Challengers Bangalore’s victory was leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal’s 3/31 that restricted Gujarat Lions to 192/7.

“I have been lucky enough to have worked with Chahal for the past four years and also played against him when he was in Mumbai. The way he bowled in the Champions League final was the reason why we wanted to get him into RCB.

“He is competitive coupled with a lot of skills. I think those two qualities make a formidable combination for a spin bowler and he is positive and confident of what he is doing.

“If you can succeed in a stadium like Chinnaswamy then it means you are special and we saw that again today with Chahal’s performance,” said Vettori.

First Published: Apr 19, 2017 11:05 IST