West Indies opener Chris Gayle showed a degree of athleticism at the age of 41 even as his team, Punjab Kings (PBKS), struggled to keep itself alive in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
Gayle’s diving efforts even brought smile on the face of his West Indies teammate in the KKR camp, Andre Russell.
With KKR struggling at 17/3 after three overs, Gayle almost made it 17/4 in the fourth over as he dived to pick the ball and hit the stumps with a direct throw. It seemed that batsman Rahul Tripathi was caught short but replays showed he was in.
Tripathi went on to make 41 and shared a 66-run fourth-wicket partnership with captain Eoin Morgan.
Then, during the eighth over, Gayle dived again to stop the ball. That stop brought smile on the face for Russell, himself known for his fielding.
Gayle has struggled with back injury in recent past which has affected ability to bowl off-spin. His bowling used to be effective in the past.
On Monday, Gayle was out for a duck. The Jamaican has been inconsistent in this year’s Indian Premier League. Other than two scores in the 40s, he has failed to get good scores.
The fielding effort was probably meant to ensure that he doesn’t end up being a one-dimensional player for his team. T20 cricket demands good fielding skills, especially if you are a pure batsman.