West Indies in Bangladesh 2012-13 December 9, 2012

Gayle prevention key for Bangladesh

In managing to keep Chris Gayle quiet for five consecutive ODIs, Bangladesh went a long way to ensuring West Indies' downfall in the series

When Chris Gayle doesn't score, the rest of the West Indies batting line-up has to do the extra bit to make up for the runs and the scoring rate. But the opener's repeated failures have had another effect on this tour. For a bowling attack like Bangladesh's, getting him out cheaply is almost like winning half the match and that is exactly how his dismissals were treated. It eventually became the major reason that an in-form West Indies team lost the series.

Gayle totalled just 72 runs in the five games of the ODI series, only the third time in his career that his aggregate in a five-match series has been less than 100 runs. The common thread has also been West Indies losing all three series, the others coming against New Zealand in 2006 and Australia in 2010 where they lost 4-1 and 4-0 respectively.

Getting him out early was one of Bangladesh's biggest challenges in the series, alongside their battle against the fast, short-pitched ball. It was always going to be important to keep Gayle quiet from the onset but that is not how it started. In the Test series, Gayle began with a six over long-on from debutant offspinner Sohag Gazi's first ball - the opening delivery of the match. He hit one more in the same over and appeared to be extra aggressive in a bid to remove the spinner from the attack. But captain Mushfiqur Rahim asked Gazi to keep bowling, keep flighting the ball, while having straight, deep fielders in place, where Gayle holed out after a few overs. He repeated the dose in the second innings but for the second Test in Khulna, Gayle became more circumspect against Gazi.

The one-day series was where it was expected that he would come into his own but again Gazi had the better of him. Tamim Iqbal's superb catch on the long-on boundary ended what would be Gayle's best knock of the series, 35 in Khulna in the first ODI. Mashrafe Mortaza then had his wicket in the next three games before Nasir Hossain and Shafiul Islam combined to end his ODI series with another low score.

The manner in which he caved was new to the Bangladesh players too. After getting out to Gazi twice in the Test series, Gayle started playing out maiden overs to the offspinner. It seeped into his overall confidence, which seems to have dipped markedly since the World Twenty20. Mushfiqur said that it was the team's major success to keep him quiet, but remained wary of his threat at every point.

"I think now Gayle is not sure what to do with his batting. It is a huge achievement for us, that our plan is now a success," Mushfiqur said. "We did talk to him but not too much. We don't want to spite him into a great performance.

"I think the success was by not giving him any easy boundaries. It becomes difficult to stop great players if you give them the first 15 runs easily. So we had bowling partnerships going and we build the pressure and his batting just collapsed."

But West Indies captain Darren Sammy was not ready to blame Gayle for the series defeat. "Chris is a very experienced player and he will come back any time," he said. "The team doesn't revolve around one person. I will give credit to the Bangladesh players for the way they bowled at him throughout the series. They had a plan and stuck to it."

Sammy and Mushfiqur will face off one last time this year in the one-off Twenty20, a format that has made Gayle a superstar across the cricketing world. West Indies may need him to rediscover his belief in the hype if they are to finish off the tour in style, but Bangladesh will be sticking to their trusted plans, which have kept him quiet for his last nine innings.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2012, 20:59 GMT

    We all know what Gayle capable of, in test he has Triple Centuries, in T20 hes most deserving player for all team and we all know what he did around the world playing as a free agent. so i dont think just one series bad patch will effect him at all.. just wait and watch .. he will be back soon. Good Luck Gayle and Good luck WI. :)

  • charlie on December 12, 2012, 5:23 GMT

    When a top player fails this often , they usually have to address their technical issues . There is nothing wrong with adjusting ones style of play late in ones carreer . Some of The greatest players in sports have made adjustments to correct flaws which occurred during their playing years ; Gayle should be no different . One of the fundamentals of good batsmanship is foot movement ; it nullifies a bowlers effectiveness especially when he is moving the ball . One modern- day example of good foot movement is Hasim Ahmla ; earlier examples [Sir Everton Weekes and Sir Garfield Sobers ]. Stand and deliver does not always work ! that's my honest opinion

  • Sami on December 11, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    hehehe Its funny and strange that a class player like Gayle failed in all 10 innings against Bangladesh. Got to give Bangladesh credit though for having a good plan and knowing how to get him out. From the moment Gazi bowled the first over of the test match, Chris Gayle just fell for the mind games but hope he comes back good, even the best can have a bad time in any sport shall I say.

  • Earl on December 10, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    Anyone that thinks that Gayle is not suited for all formats of the game do not know what they are talking about.No team if the series is tied would declare and give W.I with Gayle in the team 300 runs to make in a day,I think that the W.I team batted with no plan.Instead of trying to hit the ball out of the grounds look for ones and twos,the big shots will come as the bowlers change their line of attack.Every time Gayle was out he could of just knocked the ball down the ground for a single.I would not worry too much..he will adjust and be himself again.This is what good coaches are for.Even when Sammy made his runs he got carried away and nearly gave his wicket away needlessly.New blood has to be incorporated into this team.We should learn from Dillon,Powell and others that we need to try others before it is too late.Bangladesh has a very good nucleus for a good team.They play exciting cricket.The wins will come.

  • Dummy4 on December 9, 2012, 23:10 GMT

    Gayle's body language says it all. Gayle is not suited for any other form of the game, other than t20. He will find his form in the upcoming big bash in Australia, but don't look for Gayle to do well in the test series - he will be lights out against the Australian pacemen, especially the left armers. Does anyone really believe that this team can mount any semblance of competition to the Australian team? What is Sammy doing on the team? he is depriving someone of establishing himself on the team as a specialist batsman.

  • john on December 9, 2012, 22:30 GMT

    It's obvious that BD had a plan against Gayle. The problem is that WI and Gayle had no counter plan or a plan B. This could have been obvious to the coach, the captain, and even Gayle himself after he failed in the test matches.

  • Dummy4 on December 9, 2012, 21:06 GMT

    well my only thought as a is team we lost but still please with some of the effort even if it is Bangladesh who won hope for better in the future good effort 8.5 out of 10 more focus on our batting bowling has inprove

  • shahadat on December 9, 2012, 18:49 GMT

    what a performances, bravo bangladesh

  • Dummy4 on December 9, 2012, 17:46 GMT

    Magnificent bowling performance by bangladeshi bowlers.

  • Yasin on December 9, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    Ban played better cricket they deserve the win. But t20 is gayle trade he will come back with a bang watch out ban.

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