The double-edged sword of Gayle’s six-hitting mantra


As much as we can laud the spectacle of Gayle, a cursory glance at the scorecard for this first ODI tells the veteran struggled to rotate the strike

As a lot as we will laud the spectacle of Gayle, a cursory look on the scorecard for this primary ODI tells the veteran struggled to rotate the strike © Getty

Cricket scorecards have sufficient data on them already, however it was throughout Chris Gayle’s 23rd ODI hundred new column was floated: “Balls Misplaced”.

Finally rely, 9 white Kookaburras had been thumped out of Bridgetown. Gayle was answerable for eight of them, the largest of the lot being a 120-meter doozy off Liam Plunkett which may have made it onto the decks of a cruise ship docked within the adjoining port. It was an attention grabbing knock in some ways.

Gayle, taking part in his first ODI since final July, was roughly dormant for the beginning of his innings. His first boundary – additionally his first six – got here off the 37th ball confronted, having scored simply 12 from the earlier 36. By some means, 63 deliveries later, he had his hundred. Effectively, the “one way or the other” was clear: he’d scored 12 boundaries altogether and 9 of them had been excessive and good-looking. However the peculiarity within the Jamaican’s work was that he confronted a complete of 55 dot balls from zero to 100.

It was a nod to how West Indies strategy Twenty20 cricket of utilizing boundaries that will help you make up the distinction. Through the Tremendous-10 stage of their profitable 2016 World T20 marketing campaign, they’d a remarkably excessive dot ball proportion of 45.four% – larger than all different groups. Of their semi-final in opposition to India, they made up for 47 dot balls by scoring 146 of their 192 goal in fours and sixes.

The 300 balls in an one-day innings enable batsmen to indulge this tactic. To say only a few might and would have performed the innings Gayle did is as backhanded because it reads. You can additionally argue that, on this period of batsmanship, nobody ought to.

To not rating off 55 of your first 100 deliveries is solely a waste, particularly when about half of these had been as a result of Gayle could not be bothered working to the opposite finish. He managed only one leisurely two in that interval. Positive for him, in fact, however it does put his batting accomplice in a troublesome spot. The understudy in such a state of affairs has to shelve their plans and settle for their rhythm goes to get knocked out of sync. Invariably they lose their approach. Not that any of Gayle’s companions appeared to thoughts.

Maybe that is as a result of this West Indies, ninth within the ODI rankings, defeats in every of their final 17 sequence, are usually not filled with the identical star high quality as their T20 outfit. They want Gayle’s runs and all the luggage that comes with them. Even when it means getting these round him to park their ego and satiate themselves with the truth that whereas he will not make an effort for his or her runs, he additionally will not for his. The sixes, although. My phrase.

There’s one thing a few Gayle six that impacts everybody. A satisfying brutality that elicits an audible gasp from the group, like they’ve simply witnessed one thing grimly entertaining on Sport of Thrones. Out on the bottom, there’s an impending sense of doom engulfing the sphere as these shut in transfer to the outer limits of the 30-yard circle, backtracking slowly like youngsters trapped in a kitchen with a pair of velociraptors.

Eoin Morgan, not normally one to get caught up within the panto of such conditions, made some dud calls. His largest was the non-use of Adil Rashid. England are closely into their statistical head-to-heads and the numbers didn’t favour the leg spinner in a showdown with Gayle. The left-hander averages 70 in opposition to balls turning into him and as he started to search out his vary, Morgan didn’t fancy feeding him. In the long run, it proved too sensible an oversight: Rashid tailored, served up googlies for greater than half of his deliveries and even drew a prime edge from Gayle that Chris Woakes failed to guage appropriately.

His teammates will also be positively affected. Within the 31st over, Gayle hit successive sixes off Mark Wooden and two balls later, Shimron Hetmyer, who simply final week was floundering in opposition to Wooden’s tempo within the third Check, pumped an tried yorker into the stands at cow nook. Darren Bravo got here in and struck 4 sixes, together with one off his first ball. Ashley Nurse hit three in a cameo of 25* off eight to raise West Indies to 360 for eight from their 50 overs.

However as a lot as we will laud the spectacle of Gayle, a cursory look on the scorecard for this primary ODI tells of 1 element he was not capable of tick off. One important nugget that means Gayle’s strategy is one which improves the probabilities of success for the person however not the crew.

It was becoming, then, that Jason Roy, who dropped Gayle when the left-hander was struggling on 9 off 32 balls, scored an excellent century of his personal to set England on their path to victory. Joe Root supported Roy’s 123 along with his 14th ODI century. Each milestones had been registered in 35 and 4 fewer balls than Gayle’s, respectively.

Roy and Root managed simply three sixes between them in comparison with Gayle’s 12. Even England as a crew hit half as many because the Jamaican. And never a single white Kookaburra was misplaced throughout their innings. Then once more, they received the match, attaining their highest profitable chase with eight balls and 6 wickets to spare.

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