Calcutta: “I’m back again,” was the roar from Chris Gayle, on the sidelines of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)’s practice session, in Dubai.
His arrival midway during the 2011 IPL had brought about a drastic change in RCB’s fortunes. True, they couldn’t win the title, losing to Chennai Super Kings in the final. But on their way to the final, they prevailed over most opponents that came their way, riding the Gayle explosions.
The southpaw blasted rival bowlers in the next two editions of the IPL as well, but the ‘Gaylestorm’ wasn’t enough to take the Royal Challengers among the last four.
Not just Gayle, but the presence of captain Virat Kohli and the dynamic AB de Villiers also marks the quality of the Royal Challengers squad. Yet, their campaign couldn’t last beyond the league stage of the competition last year and in 2012, despite sound starts.
Out to wipe off the disappointments of the past two editions, Gayle is determined to win the IPL trophy for RCB this time around. “We’re in need of a trophy. We’ve been around for a while here in RCB, but couldn’t win the trophy.
“We couldn’t make the last four in the last couple of seasons. But that’s behind us. Hopefully, we’ll capitalise on our good starts this year and play with a greater amount of intensity than on the previous occasions.
“We’ll give it our full to make the final and then win the title. Hopefully, we’ll reach that milestone this season,” the destructive opener said in a video posted at the Royal Challengers’ official website.
Apart from Gayle, Kohli and De Villiers, the Royal Challengers also feature Yuvraj Singh in their arsenal. For Gayle, sharing the dressing room with a player of Yuvraj’s stature is a huge honour, irrespective of the latter’s current form.
He also looks forward to doing the Gangnam Style with Yuvraj. “Well, it’s always an honour to share the dressing room with international stars and particularly, with Yuvi, who’s one of them.
“Yuvi and I are going to do the Gangnam Style together. I am sure he is looking forward to it too.
“We will go out to have fun and that’s going to be the source of intensity on the field and will also give fans what they want, which is entertainment,” said Gayle.
If Yuvraj regains his form and fires in tandem with Gayle, it will certainly be one of the toughest jobs to stop the Royal Challengers.
Besides, Yuvraj’s left-arm spin, too, could turn out to be an important aspect of the team’s game plan.
Alongside Yuvraj, Kohli, too, drew praises from the West Indian. “We’re a good all-round squad, led by Virat who’s in awesome form at the moment,” Gayle remarked, adding: “There are quite a few new faces in the teamů Will get to know each and everyone of themů It’ll be fun.”
Bowling has been a matter of concern for the Royal Challengers, especially over the last three years. The good work from their batsmen has gone down the drain in matches they lost, as their bowlers came up with unsatisfactory performances.
On this occasion, though, they will be able to avail the services of the promising Varun Aaron, Ashok Dinda and Abu Nechim Ahmed, three of whom could step up to complement Mitchell Starc, Ravi Rampaul and all-rounder Albie Morkel.
Gayle, however, looked pretty impressed with Dinda. “There’s Mitchell Starc in our line-up. And then you have Dinda here. It’s really nice to have him here and he, too, is happy to be with me.
“We do look forward to having a nice time out in the middle,” Gayle said.