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Former Australia captain, now a cricket commentator and columnist

How do you stop Gayle and Co?

You wouldn't want to be in Mahela Jayawardene's shoes during the World Twenty20 final

Ian Chappell

October 7, 2012

Comments: 53 | Text size: A | A

Chris Gayle launched a six off the first ball of the Super Over, New Zealand v West Indies, Super Eights, World Twenty20 2012, Pallekele, October 1, 2012
Jayawardene may bank on the combination of Lasith Malinga and Tillakaratne Dilshan to dismiss Chris Gayle early in the final © Getty Images
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It's a final matching power against precision, brawn versus brain. It's the highly colourful West Indies playing the clinical hosts, Sri Lanka.

There has never been a greater collection of power-hitters assembled in one team. Led by the belligerent Chris Gayle, West Indies boast Kieron Pollard, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Johnson Charles, Andre Russell, Dwayne Smith, and even the captain Darren Sammy - all players who can make any cricket boundary look like a 30-metre circle measured from the centre of the pitch. Keeping that lot in check is going to take all the tactical nous the mentally well-endowed Mahela Jayawardene can muster.

While all the West Indies sluggers can be dangerous in their own way, the one who keeps a captain awake the night before a game is the mammoth Gayle. He not only monsters bowlers, he does it against the new ball, he does it to the spinners, and he's smart enough to know when the odds are on his side and when they slightly favour his opponents.

Anybody who accuses Gayle of being a cricket mercenary should watch the video of his semi-final innings against Australia. What they will witness is a player producing his best when it really mattered. If he wasn't doing it for the West Indies administrators, then he was certainly giving his all for the team and the players he cares for. And there's no doubt those players return the sentiment and admire their spiritual leader greatly.

Gayle's daunting presence at the top of the order allows West Indies to attack the opposition bowling from ball one. Where other teams have been treading warily on the overworked Premadasa pitches, West Indies sailed into the Australian bowlers as if they were delivering party pies for a ten-year-old's birthday. And where other teams spoke cautiously about 140 being a respectable target under the conditions, the West Indies manager, the former international batsman Richie Richardson, talked on television about his team reaching 190.

In the end, the affable Richardson, not known for his conservatism with the bat, under-clubbed by 15 runs.

How do Sri Lanka stop this six-hitting juggernaut? Well, Jayawardene is one of the shrewdest skippers in world cricket and he has at his disposal an array of skilful and unorthodox bowlers no one can match. Nevertheless, if Gayle and company have another night "on" at the Premadasa, the trophy will be headed to the Caribbean, exactly where the highly confident left-hand opener predicted it would as he accepted his Player of the Match trophy for his semi-final mastery.

Jayawardene has the unenviable task of choosing how to try to get rid of Gayle early - spin or speed. It's likely he'll choose a mixture of both, like he did so cleverly for much of the semi-final against Pakistan.

The next question is which spinner and which fast bowler? There's probably only one sure bet: there won't be any volunteers. Jayawardene will have to resort to the army tactic where he points to two unfortunates and says, "You and you have just volunteered."

It may well be that Lasith Malinga, with his ability to swing the new ball back in to Gayle, and Tillakaratne Dilshan, who spins away from the left-hander, are the best choices. That pair also have another advantage - they are both highly experienced and have faced numerous challenges in the past with courage and conviction.

The nature of the pitch will provide as much mystery as Ajantha Mendis and Sunil Narine combined. Hopefully, it'll be closer in behaviour to the one in the second semi-final than the first.

Normally, I'd back brains over brawn, but having seen Gayle combine the two in the semi-final, I don't envy Jayawardene his task.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator and columnist

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Posted by JontyG on (October 10, 2012, 18:52 GMT)

The present Windies team under the inspirational leadership of Sammy is "Entertaining, Wonderful, Joyful" to watch. Cricket wasnt fun when Australia dominated it. They had a "Villianism" , "Rudism" sought of image. Initially when Windies dominated the game and when they win tournaments like these (ICC Champions trophy and ICC T20 2012) the opposition also enjoys the compitition. They really know to enjoy the game. They show the supiriority but raising the bar but not by pushing the opposition down. Players like Gayle, Samuels, Bravo brothers, Pollard, Russell, Russell, narine Etc should be well taken care by the windies board. develop stronger players for the future and involve the ex players in administration - players like Hooper, C'paul, Lara, Jimmy Adams, Courtney and Curtley Etc Windies is loved by all ! Get the Glory back...

Posted by jay57870 on (October 9, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

Ian - The WI triumph is more about perseverance than power. Gayle was "stopped" (3 runs) but not the team! Its real hero is the affable skipper Darren Sammy: He persisted in the singular-minded purpose of "One Team, One People, One Goal": It paid off big time with the WCT20 crown! Despite numerous domestic issues - dysfunctional board & player disputes - Sammy persevered to hold the loose pieces together like glue. It jelled with the arrival of Gayle. Team WI is an optimal mix of experience & youth, brain & brawn, with a solid core group of mature stars - Gayle, Samuels, Bravo, Sammy & Co. They've scrapped & scraped to make themselves better. They've been severely tested, making them wiser for it. And dangerous. Which is why Ian's flaky "brawn vs brain" comment is so misguided. Everyone knows Ian likes to bask in the glory of dynasties. And of his bias for overpowering "dominance" - sluggers & quickies, batting aggression & bowling revolutionaries: Chappell's half-baked theories!TBC

Posted by jay57870 on (October 9, 2012, 14:48 GMT)

(Cont) WI surely has more weapons in its armour than just power-hitters. Its spinners, led by the wily Sunil Narine, outwitted both oppositions, Oz & SL, in the 2 final games (after losing earlier-round games to both). Whether attacking with a huge 205-run score or defending a modest 137 total, they showed constancy of purpose. Prudently they ignored Ian's advice that WI will "rue not including the pace-bowling aggression of Kemar Roach on these pitches"! OMG! Instead they included the useful ball-mover, Ravi Rampaul, and it paid off! Plus Gayle is no more of a slugger than Watson is: Both have nearly identical WC slugging tallies (150 SR, three 50s, 19 fours, 15 vs 16 sixers), noting that Chris played 1 more match! It's been Caribbean street-smarts vs hyped come-uppance! It's been "Gangnam" variations of calypso vs "Chin music"! Most importantly, it's been Unity in Diversity under steady leadership! And perseverance! The West Indians are back! It's not just about brawn vs brain, Ian!

Posted by   on (October 8, 2012, 15:38 GMT)

Dilshan spins the ball back into the lefties than out more often than not. Seems like Ian hasnt seen much of him or something else. Dilshan is a fairly straight bowler to lefties and one that takes the ball away for right handers

Posted by   on (October 8, 2012, 13:41 GMT)

yes mr chappel explain what u mean by brain vs brawns

Posted by PACERONE on (October 8, 2012, 13:06 GMT)

Faushik..Ian and I feel sorry for you too.Ian played cricket when it was tough.he understands the game better than you do.Everyone knows that all games are unpredictable,but we enjoy trying to predict the out comes especially for the teams we cheer for.I guess that you don't.

Posted by   on (October 8, 2012, 8:19 GMT)

The dismissal of Gayle was being seen as the main headache for all opponents. The WI giant has made his experience in IPL count, and how! The Sri Lankan captain, it may be argued, had the better of this particular threat. The poor score at the 10=over point made a pathetic reading for the Caribbean team. Another hero thus had a chance to walk away with the limelight, deservedly.Samuels was unforgiving and he took a particular liking for Malinga, widely rated the most difficult bowler to get away. I don't know if on this day Lasith would have done to Gayle what a spinner did. Mathews also chipped in frugally with his medium pacers.Chappel's formula was not employed by the shrewd Jaywardene,his own device worked to see the back of Gayle.But then Samuels had other ideas. Not to take away the credit where it is due: the Caribbean bowlers did a great job in getting the entire SL team dismissed in just 19 overs. Great for Caribbean and world cricket that there is such a cheer for forall fans

Posted by Romanticstud on (October 8, 2012, 8:18 GMT)

Brilliant article ... like most people I had my money on Gayle to do it for the West Indies ... Can get the other team blown away ... or take important players out with the ball ... but then Marlon Samuels weilded the blade ... To beat Sri-Lanka with Mendis ... 4/12 and Dilshan, Sanga and Jayawardene all in the side ... on home turf ... Well Done Windies ... It was also said at the end of the IPL ... If Gayle and Co. were reinstated in the Windies team they would win the T20 World Cup ...

Posted by Nizam1949 on (October 8, 2012, 6:44 GMT)

Poor Mahela! I do really feel sorry for him and the affable, talented and brawny Sri Lanka Cricket Team. All Mahela's calculations and precision-Captaincy went out of the window in this T20 Final with the West Indies! And, not because of Gayle force, that was made to look limp and weak by the bowling guile applied by Mahela and his bowlers, but because of an unexpected bull in a China shop,- namely Marlon Samuels, and ably played foil by Darren Sammy.

Marlon Samuels put the spanner in the works for Sri Lanka; what a spoil-sport he turned out to be with his Herculean hard-hitting sailing the cricket ball beyond the pale, denting Sri Lanka's spirits! A new matrix has been added to the West Indies Cricket Team with the sum and substance of team performance by all their players on that fateful T20 Final on the 7th of October 2012. Perhaps, a day of reckoning for the Cricketing World that is the harbinger of greater things to come from the West Indies Cricket Team in the near future.

Posted by simonviller on (October 8, 2012, 3:00 GMT)

Thanks for the article Mr Chappell ! I always enioy and respect your comments whether I get to read them ,or see you on video ;however your analogy of '[ BRAINS VERSUS BRAWNS ] leaves me to question such analogy at this time . Would you please expound on such ,so as clarify your meaning ?

Posted by   on (October 8, 2012, 2:33 GMT)

Who is the brain ? And who is the brain ? Ian can you specify ?

Posted by FOTO on (October 8, 2012, 0:56 GMT)

The pitch that Marlon played... you can't hit it its not a big hitting pitch it is like a BD pitch... He had fine talent for doing big hitting and thats why WI won. Even Chris Gayle couldn't get a single boundary or six. Sri Lanka only Had Jaywarrdena and Kulesekara who could bat on it and the rest couldn't. Hard loss for SL this happened to BD in the Asia cup final...

Posted by sirviv on (October 7, 2012, 23:50 GMT)

Ok so i guess its hard for SL fans to believe they lost to the Windies after thrashing them twice earlier in the tourney... I was shocked myself, but as avid cricket fans, we must realize what matters is who the better team is on the day. SL was thrilled when India was eliminated and furthermore when they sent Pak packing, and literally licking their lips when Australia was carted out by Gayle&Co. It was a perfect script for them to play the final against the very team they had dominated earlier. In sports, however, you can never tell who will come out on top... regardless of how Chris Gayle plays :)

Posted by   on (October 7, 2012, 22:40 GMT)

Good article Ian. WI have won! ... Although not in the manner that most would have predicted. What an innings by Marlon Samuels - supremely talented cricketer!

Posted by   on (October 7, 2012, 22:23 GMT)

Congratulation WI you have proved all the doubters wrong. Yes indeed you are truly worthy of your win, enjoy

Posted by Alexk400 on (October 7, 2012, 20:32 GMT)

My prediction of srilanka winning ..did n'tw ork out. Oh well sammy and west indies deserved the cup every bit. Today gayle failed but sammy managed bowling and won it for west indies. marlon samuels is their pressure player. if they find one more pressure player , west indies will do well in TESTS

Posted by rsgarcia on (October 7, 2012, 19:47 GMT)

Mr. Chappell, despite the confident commenters here, you have shown your psychic abilities. Problem is, like all punters, you discounted Samuels. It's okay. We forgive you for focusing on the biggest player in the team. But today we proved what the Windies have always known--it's a TEAM now. And there's no I in it. You want to beat us? You have to play eleven men, not one, and not two. Windies rule! Thank you for the win, boys! Upward and onward!

Posted by AdityaMookerjee on (October 7, 2012, 19:38 GMT)

It seems, a player like Gayle is not a mercenary at all, if he can get out on a low score, and feel mildly apologetic. I did see Sir Vivian Richards feel the same way, getting out, not always on a low score.

Posted by farhan.janjuah on (October 7, 2012, 18:33 GMT)

Agree with your comments Ian Chappell....Its real problem facing the likes of Gayle etc.......Even if Gayle and Pollard are out there still is Samuels....

Posted by   on (October 7, 2012, 17:42 GMT)

@Eranda Dilruk Rajapathirana ::: Did you see the final, Now tell who win. Actually the Sri Lankans make the pitch for their bowlers. SO windies fight against the Pitch makers & SL Team. Very ugly nature from the Srilankan Cricket Board. They make the pitch for their Spinners and actually they trapped their own Batsman. They (SL) deserve the Loss. GREAT WIN SAMMY & BOYS.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2012, 16:53 GMT)

Ian Chappel ,after playing years of cricket , still does not know that cricket is an un predictable game !! Really feel sorry for this guy !!

Posted by deekay1 on (October 7, 2012, 16:50 GMT)

A stock picker would have a field day shorting your picks #MalingaDilshan

I enjoy reading your articles a lot though Ian!

Posted by theRule19 on (October 7, 2012, 16:11 GMT)

Good luck Srilankan fans..but W.Indians gonna win this..From Indian fan

Posted by   on (October 7, 2012, 15:30 GMT)

West Indies are no match for Sri Lanka when the team is in good shape

Posted by   on (October 7, 2012, 14:22 GMT)

Dear Ian.. for all your praise.. its all over..!!

Posted by   on (October 7, 2012, 14:14 GMT)

How to beat SL in home-soil... just a dream....

Posted by   on (October 7, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

As SL Beat Pakistan First Time In Colombo Same As West Indies Will Beat SL First Time.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2012, 12:57 GMT)

Exactly what does Mr Chappell mean by "Brain vs Brawn". The more things change the more they remain the same.

Posted by lion55 on (October 7, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

WI will win gayle will thrash sri lanka

Posted by   on (October 7, 2012, 12:46 GMT)

So funny... Didn't u aware that we have beaten WI twice before in the same tournament??? Seems to be your age is making things worse for you.You can cheer or write any team. Be bit rationale Mr. CHAP. Always remember you all are in Lion's Den and there will be no escape. Cheers SL!!!!!!

Posted by   on (October 7, 2012, 12:41 GMT)

सुधीर देवली are you kidding me? Have you seen Viv Richards play? The most arrogant bat ever. Even Brian Lara does not come close. Gayle is an aggressive bat... but please don't place him so far up the ladder. I wish WI all the best (don't have horses in this one... mine already out)... don't underestimate SL.

Posted by nileththi on (October 7, 2012, 12:31 GMT)

I don't agree with Ian's predictions, we agree Gayle's smash style but it's not happening every single match, once in a while, they lost one already to Sri Lanka and also they narrowly escape to Semi Finals and had luck against Australia, looking at Gayle's scores I can't see he is a brilliant like Lara, he just swing the bats and hit sixes, that's all.

Posted by nileththi on (October 7, 2012, 12:31 GMT)

I don't agree with Ian's predictions, we agree Gayle's smash style but it's not happening every single match, once in a while, they lost one already to Sri Lanka and also they narrowly escape to Semi Finals and had luck against Australia, looking at Gayle's scores I can't see he is a brilliant like Lara, he just swing the bats and hit sixes, that's all.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2012, 12:28 GMT)

Gayle is no where nearly as stylish and skilled as Viv or Lara and he has an incredibly limited range of shots. But don't underrate him either; he's one of the best in world cricket, due primarily to his physical strength and mental concentration. He's aware of his limitations and figured out how to pace an innings and play only certain balls. Viv and Lara also came lower down the order, where they were called upon to play a range of different "types" of innings. Gayle, like Tendulkar, always does the same thing. He comes in early, faces a lot of balls, and accumulates. He may be the first cricketer in cricket history, though, to "accumulate" via sixes. Massive, massive, monstrously huge sixes.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2012, 12:11 GMT)

Gayle's team is in superb form. But Mahela's team is more intelligent than them. So, we have more chance of winning the finals than WI.

Posted by Kak-mal_Khan on (October 7, 2012, 6:03 GMT)

I did not watch the Super Eight Match between SL v WI, but did Sri Lanka not win that game? I thought they had? I have not checked - I just read this article and thought it should be mentioned that these 2 teams have already played each other. I know that Windies have just thrashed the Australians, but Australia did not have experienced bowlers as Sri Lanka have, who would be more hungry to win because of recent past failures in finals!

Posted by   on (October 7, 2012, 6:01 GMT)

Well Ian Chappell, you have written this article beautifullly. One possible way to get rid of him is attack with the new ball. Chris Gayle nowadays initially takes sometime to settle before playing big shots. So, if they can get the ball to cmeback to him and bang him with short balls, they have chance of getting him inside 6 overs

Posted by VijayaBhaskarDK on (October 7, 2012, 5:52 GMT)

Gayle has to do what he has done in semifinal. He has to bat through the innings, let other power hitters play their part . Pollard should not be sent when Ajantha Mendis is bowling. Or some one should take the strike and keep pollard at non strikers end. Other than Ajantha , pollard can hit any bowler including malinga.

I personally feel, Samuels or Dawyne Bravo should open the innings along with gayle, as Charles wasting balls initially and giving confidence to the opponent bowlers.

Badree should be playing, even though SL can bat spinners, but Badree is economical, don't change the winning team. Keep the same which won the semis against Australia.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

Gayle, Powell and Sunil Narine. I am betting on WI.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2012, 5:45 GMT)

Chris Gayle. I will certainly put him in the breadth of Sir Vivian Richards. For past two seasons i watched IPL only because of Gayle. Just because of him i started liking Royal Bangalore Challenger's. He is an amazing man.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2012, 5:38 GMT)

Gayle has one another knock, which he has not managed in IPL ... at the final ... he could not do it ... it may be the law of averages or something had got into his head .. hope he sheds all those and plays as best he can ... Jayawardane is a standout captain ... I can never loose respect for him ...

Posted by balakumar246 on (October 7, 2012, 5:37 GMT)

Good one Ian.Have been a long time fan of yours for your straight talking.You say it as you see it.The finals should be a truly exciting affair.I hope both teams bring their A game onto the field.Yes,the Sri Lankans are lead by an astute captain in Mahela and have a solid battling lineup with variety in their bowling.However,if the West Indies bat like they did in the semifinals against Australia,they will be an indestructible force.They batted around Gayle which was very sensible and are blessed with power hitters.Honestly,I don't understand what Andre Russell brings to the team.His bowling is rubbing and he bats way down the order to make any significant impact.Yes,he is exceptional on the field but you surely don't deserve a place in the team on that basis.I hope the WI bowling unit clicks again against Sri Lanka.Best of luck to both teams from a neutral fan.Pls publish.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2012, 5:21 GMT)

seems like chapeli likes a WI win. But sorry sir... its a Lions night....

Posted by Scrop on (October 7, 2012, 5:02 GMT)

If Gayle is the only one taking taking away the trophy from Srl then Dilshan who played for RCB with Gayle should be handy for his skipper. That is where I think last night Jayawardene's press conference saying "Gayle is just another" has a part in trying to bring Gayle out of his comfort zone and get him unsettled before the 1st ball he faces.

The Finals of WT20 2012 (mind) game has already started. Let the best T20 side win.

Posted by SunnyFernando on (October 7, 2012, 4:49 GMT)

These guys are talking like SL has never beaten Gayle and WI.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2012, 4:38 GMT)

hope WI win the final.....no matter gayle fires or not....a Win for WI would put WI back in the race for winning major tournaments...which would help the competition in major tournaments...it wud be very much interesting.....

Posted by Mr.Lock on (October 7, 2012, 4:34 GMT)

Sir Ian, nice article. In my opinion, WI are relying too much on Gayle just like AUS were on Watson. If Gayle doesn't score, WI will be humiliated in the final. Some players like Sammy have no position in the team. The fast bowling department of WI is extremely weak. The only chance WI have is CG with some aid in spin. Howver, Srilanka have top quality spinner themselves so that is not really WI strength. May the best team win.

Posted by emailmkarthik on (October 7, 2012, 3:45 GMT)

What do you mean brains over brawn? You mean to say windies is all brawn and no brain? I disagree completely! Windies have very intelligent players too.

Posted by harshthakor on (October 7, 2012, 3:45 GMT)

We could well see West Indies achieve their greatest victory in 33 years today.Chris Gayle simply instills fire in his team like a Greek God.In full flow he is like a bomber destroying an airbase.All the best to the calypsos .

Posted by Aloke_Mondkar on (October 7, 2012, 3:40 GMT)

Always been a big fan of Ian's analysis but am very disappointed by this article. He has waited till the second last paragraph to get to what I thought will be the meat of the article and even that seems forced. Maybe something about - bowl slower balls, what length is better, what line is better, what field placing would counter his strengths would have made for a much better analysis. Honestly, even my 2 year old would have told you that Malinga is 50% of the answer. You only have to look at Steyns maiden to Gayle in the IPL to look at what causes dangerous batsmen discomfort.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2012, 3:22 GMT)

Windies should play Darren bravo instead of Russel in this match to counter the spin and upset the opposition prematch plans. He can open with Gayle

Posted by bismoy on (October 7, 2012, 3:17 GMT)

Gayle is currently 33, he has 3-4 yr cricket left in him, Hopefully he will score very heavily so that world willl recognize him as one of great of all time.

Being a indian fan i still belive gayle is far better than shewag,On his day gayle can destroy any team .

Posted by bismoy on (October 7, 2012, 3:14 GMT)

Gayle is the greatest entertainer world has ever seen, much better than vivan richards , lara and co.

Gayle is legend, We expect 100 from gayle in final.

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Ian Chappell Widely regarded as the best Australian captain of the last 50 years, Ian Chappell moulded a team in his image: tough, positive, and fearless. Even though Chappell sometimes risked defeat playing for a win, Australia did not lose a Test series under him between 1971 and 1975. He was an aggressive batsman himself, always ready to hook a bouncer and unafraid to use his feet against the spinners. In 1977 he played a lead role in the defection of a number of Australian players to Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket, which did not endear him to the administrators, who he regarded with contempt in any case. After retirement, he made an easy switch to television, where he has come to be known as a trenchant and fiercely independent voice.

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