West Indies’ capitulation, time after time in Tests, has many demanding the side’s demotion to the proposed second tier in Test cricket.
Chris Gayle’s methods encapsulate the essence of West Indian cricket. It’s a blend of freedom, fun and fearlessness that celebrates explosive batsmanship. A mix of sunshine and calypso, it is both brutal and beautiful.
In Gayle’s territory, eye, reflexes and power combine to demoralise attacks in the Caribbean style of old where the opposition is simply blown away.
But then, these are not the best of times for West Indian cricket. Although the Caribbeans rule the world in Twenty20, the side’s close to rock bottom in Test cricket where lasting reputations are made. West Indies’ capitulation, time after time in Tests, has many demanding the side’s demotion to the proposed second tier in Test cricket.
In the city as a guest of the India Cements-Tamil Nadu Premier League, Gayle dwelt on the vast gulf in West Indies’ performances between Twenty20 and Test cricket.
He said, “When I first played, Brian Lara was there to guide us. The batsmen in that team would concentrate for long periods, bat through sessions. Now that is not happening. Our cricketers tend to switch off mentally after playing for a while. That concentration is lacking. It’s a problem.”
Despite his phenomenal achievements in the shorter variety, the 36-year-old has a very respectable record in Tests with 7214 runs in 103 matches at 42.18 with 15 centuries and 37 fifties.
Gayle, however, prefers to play in the various Twenty20 leagues across the world ahead of Tests. He has been involved in spats with the West Indian Cricket Board as well.