Gayle is known for hard hitting cricket. In the match against England he murdered English bowling to score century in 47 balls.
England played without a plan against Chris Gayle.
On 16th March, 2016, West Indies crushed England in the opening encounter of T20 World Cup played in Mumbai. England scored 183 runs in 20 overs batting first. West Indies scored the runs with 11 balls left. The difference was made by Chris Gayle who remained unbeaten on 100 runs out of 47 balls with 11 huge sixes and 5 boundaries.
Generally a cricket match looks interesting when the two contending teams do homework about each other and play according to that plan. From Vatican City to Dead Sea, from Antarctica to Sahara Desert, everyone in the world knows about the hard hitting powers of Chris Gayle. Not only that the difference made by Gayle with other players include around 50 to 60 runs because he does not run and require singles.
Yet England came with a weak bowling line up who neither did have any plan, nor any variation. It was easy cake walk for West Indies team.
When England batted first, at that time also the team showed no urgency. That is one of the reasons why England comes in the bottom 4 teams in international cricket. Hales played like a test match giving dot balls to West Indian bowlers Russell, Bravo and others and his getting out in the 20s was a blessing in disguise for England, because the more he stayed the worst he would have played.
The only English batsmen who is fit to play T20 cricket is Joe Root. He is the only batsman who is selected to play tests, one dayers and T20 matches. In the match against West Indies on 16th March, he played well scoring 48 runs in 36 balls with 2 sixes. But there was no finisher for England. Morgan, Stokes wasted balls, did hit the odd six, but in the perspective of the match there was no momentum. England ended up with 183 runs in 20 overs.
Looking at the stereotype batting of England, Andre Russell and Bravo went on giving slower deliveries one after the other. England required at least 20 more runs to make the total competitive.
The bowling of England even worst than the batting. Topley, Stokes are bowlers who have no variation at all. Only in seaming conditions they can make the ball move. There was hardly any swing in Mumbai wicket on 16th March. First they got blasted by Marlon Samuels who scored 35 runs in quick time and then it was murder by Chris Gayle.
Gayle saw wickets tumbling on the other side. Charles went for a duck. After Samuels, Bravo also got out. But he was cool and composed. He never lost his composer. As he hardly run, his entire effort is reserved for loose deliveries where he uses his muscle-power.
The two spinners of England namely Rashid and Moeen Ali were equally hopeless. They could not bowl Gayle at his legs. They allowed him to free his arms. Gayle had the luxury of wasting one or two good balls, because the loose deliveries he dispatched to the gallery. In every over he was hitting 2 sixes, so at least 12 runs were coming easily, there was no pressure for the other balls.
The big difference of Gayle with other batsmen in the world is that whether Maxwell, or De Villiers, or ShahidAfridi, Maxwell and others are content with hitting one or two sixes and scoring 20 runs and getting out. Gayle has the thirst and hunger for 10 to 12 sixes and by the time he gets out in T20 matches, the opponent loses all their skills, energy, firepower.
Gayle did hit 11 sixes in the match versus England and the sixes were hit at different parts of the field. He also hit 5 boundaries and each boundary went like rocket. He almost injured his team member Andre Russell who was standing at the non-striker end when Gayle hit a blasting drive straight back to the bowler.
With Gayle’s heroics now it is certain that West Indies is definitely going to qualify for the semi-finals from their group. It is interesting to see between South Africa, Sri Lanka and England who will be the next team to qualify. Very few cricket experts want South Africa to qualify because as they could not get rid of the badge of chokers, there is no point of them going to semi-finals and losing the match. Till now they neither did win any 50 over World Cup cricket nor any T20 finals. Sri Lanka played so miserably in Asia Cup in Bangladesh that it is difficult to imagine that they are going to drastically improve in a span of 2 weeks. Neither Dilshan is in form, nor the bowlers have firepower.
In fact in the other group, that is India’s group, India’s loss against New Zealand had opened the tournament. Four teams in the group are very close to each other in strength, including Australia, India, New Zealand and Pakistan. So it is difficult to predict the two semi-finalists in the group.
Whoever goes to the semi-final is definitely going to face West Indies. It will be a challenge to make a plan of bowling against Chris Gayle. In a short 20 over format there is no question of getting Gayle run out, because neither he runs, nor he takes risky singles. The spinner are the key. Overturn of balls sometimes makes batsmen uncomfortable.
As the Indian wickets are not showing any hint of swing, the seamers are not going to succeed against Chris Gayle.Slower deliveries will not work also, because Gayle’s hits can cover more than 95 meters, so a miss hit can also cover 80 meter and land up as six. Gayle also has the advantage of knowing Indian conditions as he played for Royal Challengers Bengaluru in IPL cricket.
It is interesting to see how the other teams plan against Gayle. After Sir Vivian Richards, presently Gayle is the greatest hard hitting sensation and is giving adequate entertainment to the cricket loving spectators in India.
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