West Indies' swashbuckling batsman Chris Gayle, who has been returned in his form with a whirlwind knock of 77 off just 38 balls, which helped Royal Challengers Bangalore to register a 21-run win against the Gujarat Lions in an Indian Premier League match at Rajkot on Tuesday.
During that knock, Gayle has become the first ever cricketer to score 10,000 T20 runs in T20 cricket. For his latest achievement, former Australian captain Ricky Ponting congratulated him and termed it a fantastic achievement.
Chris Gayle, who played his last Test in 2014, is one of only four cricketers, who has managed to go past 300 twice in their Test careers, the other three being Sir Don Bradman, Brian Lara, and Virender Sehwag.
Speaking to cricket.com.au on Wednesday, Ponting said about Gayle, “He’ll hang his hat on that, as he should. He’s played more T20 cricket in the last five or six years than he has other forms of the game, but he’s dominated the game pretty much everywhere he’s been. Congratulations to him, it’s a fantastic achievement.”
Former Aussie skipper further added, “The man has got a Test triple-hundred as well so it hasn't always been just about T20 cricket. He’s got a pretty good one-day record and we probably forget about how much Test cricket he played – he’s played 100 Tests. He’s played a lot of cricket and there’s probably a lot of negativity around about him probably not playing as much Test cricket for the West Indies as a lot of people would have liked, but at the end of the day he’s had a long and distinguished career and when he’s finished he’ll be pretty happy with it.”
While talking about his time in the Indian Premier League with Mumbai Indians as a player first and then as a coach, Ponting said that they were tried many tricks to get Gayle out or keeping him quiet for a while. He further said, “Some of the things we would do with him in Mumbai, while he was in we would just bowl our fastest bowlers until he got out. We weren’t going to bowl spin at him. We’d have (Mitchell) Johnson, we’d have (Lasith) Malinga, (Mitchell) McClenaghan; we’d have all three going for as long as it took to get him out.”
Gayle has been sensational in T20 cricket and has scored 3563 runs at an average of 42.92 and a strike rate of 153 in 96 games. He has scored 5 hundred, which the most by anyone in the history of the IPL.
Ponting concluded, “Because as soon as you expose spin to him, you can guarantee that the first over is going for 20-plus. That’s just the way he plays. And he’d target those spinners; he’d block Malinga’s first two or three overs, not even look to score, and wait for the spin to come on. So we’d try and drag that out and get lots of dot balls on him when we could with our fast bowlers and make it harder for him to end up striking at 300. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. And more often than not during his career, he’s had the better of most teams that he’s played against.”