The photo above, showing a man who chooses to wear the number 333 on the back of his playing shirt (in reference to his highest Test Match score), begs the question… Is there a cooler, yet more dangerous man in world sport?
Chris Gayle, after recently falling out of favour with the West Indian selectors, arrived in Bangalore almost three weeks ago hoping to prove to the world that he is no spent force, despite losing his spot in his national side. Before his arrival on the 21st of April, his side had lost three games on the trot and were looking for some inspiration. Needless to say, he delivered.
Seven games have since passed and what seems to be the West Indies loss is proving to be a massive gain for the Royal Challengers Bangalore as Gayle continues to tear apart quality bowling attacks.
The carnage started against his old side Kolkata when he smashed 102 not out off 55 balls and easily lead his side to victory. His innings read as follows;
In his second match, against Delhi, he scored 26 off just 14 balls and helped set his side up for a comfortable chase to victory. His innings read as follows;
His third match was against Pune and he once again set the platform early, smashing 49 off 26 balls. His innings read as follows;
His fourth match was most certainly his best as he became the first player in history to score a second IPL century in the same tournament. His innings of 107 off 49 balls read as follows;
In his fifth match of the tournament, Gayle smoked 44 off just 15 balls including 36 of a Prasanth Parameswaran over (which included a no-ball). His innings read as follows;
In his sixth match, against Rajasthan, Gayle again went nuts with the willow, smashing 70 not out off 44 balls. His innings read as follows;
In his seventth match, against Kolkata, he only faced 12 balls, however it was still enough to cause some madness as he smoked 38 runs. His innings read as follows;
In total, Gayle has scored 436 runs at an average of 87.20 from just 215 balls faced. All of this at an incredible strike-rate of 202.79. He has also now moved to the top of the batting charts despite playing just 7 games.
Furthermore, in addition to his batting prowess, his bowling and fielding has also been handy, taking the following figures with the ball and in the field;
0/9 (2) & 1 catch vs. Kolkata
0/20 (2) vs. Delhi
1/8 (2) vs. Pune
3/21 (4) vs. Punjab
1/26 (4) vs. Kochi
1/23 (3) vs. Rajasthan
0/11 (1) vs. Kolkata
Since Gayle arrived, Bangalore have won seven games in a row and they are currently in first place with two games remaining. They will be looking for finish off strong having already qualified for the finals, for the third successive time. This year however, they have Chris Gayle and with that comes a genuine chance of winning their first championship.
Oh, and one final note worth mentioning, the West Indies lost their series to Pakistan 3-2 and I have no doubt that the result would have been different had Gayle of played.