New Delhi: Virat Kohli’s hundred in the first Test against England provides just the kind of inspiration that a struggling Indian batting line-up needed, feels Chris Gayle. Kohli scored a classic 149, his first hundred in England to rescue India from a precarious position in the first Test.
“I was busy with a shoot in Mumbai yesterday and only watched the highlights. It was a captain’s knock from Virat. The best part was how he batted with the tail. That is the perfect start you want in a series,” Gayle told reporters during an interaction at a promotional event on poker.
While the other Indian batsmen came a cropper, Gayle expects that Kohli’s will certainly lift the spirits. “A knock like this, especially from the captain and lot have been said about his form in England and hopefully this knock will spur him and the team during the series,” the flamboyant Jamaican said.
When asked if India could win the series against England, Gayle replied: “Why not? Aren’t they humans?” Asked to compare Joe Root’s 80 with Kohli’s 100, Gayle cheekily replied: “I didn’t see Root’s 80. I only saw his run-out and the mic drop.” He is confident that he will be fit and ready for the 2019 World Cup next year. “I will have to sit with the coaches and selectors and ask them about their plan. I am confident of playing the World Cup,” Gayle said.
Dale Steyn is set to retire after the ODI World Cup but Gayle made it clear that he would like to play another year. “My plan is to play till 2020 World T20 in Australia,” he replied. Will the World Cup lose its sheen that someone like AB de Villiers won’t be around, asked a scribe. The reply was a typical Gayle: “Chris Gayle will be there. What are you worried for.” Asked about the current West Indies team, Gayle named three players as future stars. “Shimron Hetmeyer, Shai Hope and Evin Lewis are the three players to watch out for,” he said.
For someone, who made freelancing in T20 leagues across the globe, Gayle doesn’t think that ICC can put a cap on how many tournaments a particular player can play. There has been a suggestion that to safeguard international cricket, ICC will introduce a cap of two tournaments per player.
“Is it confirmed? I dont think that will happen,” he hit the question for a flat batted six. However he is indeed curious to know more about ECB’s 100-ball format. “I am looking forward to it. I want to see what it is like. I want to see the full details and the rules. We just have to wait and see how players respond to it.”
‘Universe Boss’ as he is known in the cricketing fraternity, Gayle said that fans should thank him for making T20 cricket evolve in these 12-13 years. “You should thank Mr Gayle for doing that. He made it possible,” he said with a toothy grin.
“Even younger and players with smaller built are hitting big sixes. T20s have also changed the pattern of scoring in Tests. Now 300 runs are being scored in a day. It’s good and more entertaining for people to come in and watch,” he concluded.