'Kohli can overhaul Gayle's 175' - Watson
Watson terms Gayle's innings as 'super human'
Shane Watson might wonder if he actually scored the first hundred of IPL 6. A day after stepping down as Australia's vice-captain, the Rajasthan Royals allrounder scored an effortless 60-ball century against Chennai Super Kings. Michael Hussey spoilt his former Australian's team-mate's party by hitting a match-winning 88. The very next day, Gayle rubbed further salt on Watson's wounds by blasting a record-breaking 30-ball century. Watson missed the Gayle blitz as he was on a flight. Calling Gayle's innings "super human", Watson said that a lot of things need to fall in place in order to score a Twenty20 century, and that is one reason why it is a rare feat only few have achieved. Asked if he could think of any contenders who could break Gayle's record, Watson had one name. "It will be extremely difficult to improve upon. It looks like one of those records that just stay on. When Brendon Mc-Cullum scored 158 for KKR in the first year, we had thought that would stay on, but then Gayle came by. It would need an extraordinary effort to improve Gayle's 175, but having said that, there are always players with potential. Virat Kohli is one person who can do that over time. There has to be some amazing talent to do that." Watson told the Times of India.
Gayle's secret weapon
There are no secrets to Chris Gayle's batting style. A combination of power, timing, alertness and patience has allowed Gayle to evolve into one of the most dangerous batsmen in Twenty20 cricket. To the list, Gayle can now add his most important weapon: the bat. "Having a good bat certainly helps," Gayle wrote in his column in The Hindu. Without revealing the exact weight and dimensions, Gayle said that he carries five bats in his kit bag, each one worked upon precisely by its owner. "There's been a lot of attention on mine (cricket bats) 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."
How to counter Gayle?
Waqar Younis, the former Pakistan fast bowler, who joined Sunrisers Hyderabad as a bowling consultant this season, says that the only way for a bowler to bounce back against Chris Gayle is to respond positively. According to Waqar, one failure cannot stop a bowler from trying again. "We all saw what happened in the Bangalore - Pune game. If a great hitter like Chris Gayle chooses to attack, then [the] bowlers are bound to be demoralised. But during our playing days, we were always told bowl with a big heart. We were also under tremendous pressure, but trying to bowl better after a bad delivery is the only way out. And I say the same [thing] to my bowlers. Keep trying, you may fail, but if you don't even try, you are bound to fail," Younis told Mail Today.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo