Chris Gayle has been enabling us to become more patient. Where his past innings stand, it seems, he’s waiting to exhale.
He was at it at the World Cup. But couldn’t really get things going how he would’ve liked it. Then he tried to go for it in the first ODI against India held recently.
But his bat yielded only 4 from 31 deliveries.
What was already a long wait became a tad bit embarrassing with that knock. And then finally came that moment when India took on the West Indies at the Queen’s Park Oval for the Second ODI.
Not that the mighty bat unfurled a great many sixes or bludgeoned one boundary too many. But it did enough to compile 11 runs at the end.
Never before Chris Gayle’s 300th ODI inning was there a moment where the man responsible for hitting mega glass-shattering sixes would be applauded for taking a single. And it appears never after this 300th inning would Gayle be given a standing applause for taking 1 run.
For in the ninth over of the West Indian inning, when Khalil bowled one slightly short, Gayle cut it to the off side to go past 10405 ODI runs.
This was extraordinary. This was worth pop opening a champagne bottle. This was about jumping up and down, and jiving to some Caribbean music.
This was about bringing in a ‘Universal’ celebration.
In a single instance of completing 1 run, Gayle not only went past the great Brian Lara’s ODI runs tally but also emerged as the all-time highest scorer for his West Indian in limited-overs cricket.
Ahead of Sir Viv, ahead of Chanderpaul, and ahead of Hooper, Sarwan, the great Richie Richardson.
More momentously, Gayle broke Lara’s record at the ‘Prince’s’ home ground. A lanky Jamaican.
It’s a shame that the mighty left-hander put a full stop, at least for that inning, at 10408 runs. That’s where Gayle currently stands.
And it’s a shame that Gayle wasn’t able to build further on what seemed a slow but cautious start.
When he square cut a straighter one from Khaleel to breach the square boundary, it did seem that the old Chris Gayle was back: someone who pounced on a chance, someone who relished punishing bad balls.
Surely a couple of adrenaline-pumping hits down the ground, with the characteristic right leg away and the big follow through staring down the bowler’s end would’ve added more charm to what was, indeed, a historic occasion.
But maybe Gayle’s reserved the much-anticipated big knock for the final ODI, about to undergo in the next few hours.
While at the conclusion of the 2019 World Cup, he did share his intention to hang around for a bit, his fans would want recurrences of his six-hitting exploit as seen prior to the world cup against England to resurface.
Because that’s the Gayle we’ve come to enjoy. The Chris Gayle behind 162 runs from 97 balls. Unbound by good or bad deliveries, untouched by the thing called worry. A dangerous creature once set free, a six-hitting monster.
That he also expressed a desire to wield the bat in Test cricket but finds his name off the squad picked against India could well mean a five-dayer call-up is not happening.
So in all probability, are we staring at the last of Chris Gayle in the final one-dayer? Can he make the moment last? Can he deliver one more time?