| Chris Gayle in Vijayawada Saturday. (Reuters)
Vijayawada, Nov. 23: Only six others have managed three hundreds in a one-day series/tournament and, so, this alone says much about Chris Gayleís dominance in the ongoing ODIs. Actually, his tally of 450 from six matches is already the highest-ever against India.
[Indeed, talking one-on-one, captain Carl Hooper lauded his opener thus: ďChris has made the most of opportunities and, now, I only hope he will continue this good work right through the World Cup... Cricket essentially is a confidence-game and, though Chris isnít a veteran, heís learnt that reasonably quickly.Ē]
Gayle, who has completed three years in the big league, spoke to select newspapers (including The Telegraph) this afternoon. While he is flamboyant on the field, off it he is reticent ó to put it mildly, that is.
Following are excerpts (some questions, by the way, were asked exclusively):
On the West Indies getting their act right in the one-dayers
Well, we grew in confidence in the Calcutta Test itself, when we got 497 in our only innings... From then on, it was a question of continuing the nice work.
On his phenomenal run in the one-dayers
Again, that I myself got 88 in Calcutta helped my confidence grow... At the same time, Iíve been working very hard and, so, deserve the success that has come my way. However, I accept the wickets have been excellent.
On constantly having to switch from Tests to ODIs and vice-versa
(Grins) Iím not complaining because, as a pro, youíve got to adjust. Clearly, in this age and time, youíve got to adapt and do so quickly... Thereís no change in technique, itís just that I adjust to the demands of the situation. In any case, I have no control over the scheduling of international cricket.
On his one-day approach
Idea is to pick the bowlers and hit them off length... One has to belt the ball in the first 15 overs and, then, consolidate. I know that if I can last the 50 overs, I will get a hundred. In fact, I aim for a hundred in every one-dayer.
On his understanding with Wavell Hinds
Heís a very fine batsman... That both of us play for Jamaica, back home, has only helped reach a good understanding.
On the Indian bowlers
Jawagal Srinath certainly uses his head and brings his experience into play... Harbhajan Singh, too, is a very fine bowler... Then, in the one-dayers, (Murali) Kartik has done well.
On often being called upon to bowl
Iím in a team sport and, thereby, do whatever is asked of me.
On his idol
Brian Lara... Of course, purely in the one-dayers, I admire Sourav Ganguly. His body-language, shot-selection... Heís very positive and thatís reflected in the 8,000-plus runs he has got.
On being compared to Clive Lloyd
(Grins again) Iím not complaining!
On the lessons learnt from the about-to-end India tour
That one must stay focussed, that one must keep concentrating... One must not be overwhelmed or overawed by the crowds and the ambience... Overall, itís been a great experience.
On his most satisfying innings
Though we lost, it will still be that 140 in Ahmedabad.
Finally, on his thoughts on the up-coming World Cup, which will be his first
Iím excited and, at this point in time, Iím looking forward to doing well in Bangladesh. Runs there, too, will lift my confidence even more.