Chris Gayle's 5 best knocks in ODIs
Chris Gayle is one of the most destructive batsmen of this generation and also a true entertainer in his own right.
The burly West Indies player, like most of his predecessors, enjoys playing to the crowd and likes to play with a smile on his face - at least on occasions when he is not taking the opposition to the cleaners.
When Gayle is in his zone, there are few very bowlers who can stop him. Very few players are able to dent the confidence of the rivals, the way Gayle has been able to do a number of times.
He is tailor-made for the T20 format as his stellar record in the shortest format of the game suggests. He is only one of two players to score two Twenty20 international hundreds and is one of the most sought after players in various T20 leagues across the globe including the IPL.
But what should not be overlooked is the fact that he has performed well in the other formats as well, including Test cricket. He is only one of four players to score two triple centuries in Test cricket and has recorded centuries against seven different opponents.
Gayle's ODI record is even more impressive as he is only second to the great Brian Lara in the leading run-scorers chart for the West Indies. He leads the pack though with most hundreds (22) and is joint first with Sir Vivian Richards with most Man of the Series awards (7) the Carribean side.
He is a more than useful with the ball as well with more than 250 international wickets against his name and with 23 Man of the Match awards in the 50-over format, he has proven to be the difference for a West Indies side which has often struggled against the big guns in the recent past.
Let's take a look at 5 of Chris Gayle's best such knocks in ODIs:
101 (107) - West Indies tour of India, 2002/03 - 5th ODI at Vadodara
Chris Gayle's unrivalled ability to dominate the opposition came to the fore during the 7-match ODI series against India in the latter end of 2002 as the West Indies opener smashed as many as three centuries to emerge Player of the Series.
Gayle's heroics led West Indies to a historic 4-3 series against Sourav Ganguly's high-flying outfit in their own outfit and the 5th ODI at Vadodara would turn out to be a decisive match in the final outcome of the series.
Half-centuries by India's Top 3 - Ganguly, Sehwag, and Laxman - powered the hosts to a healthy total of 290 in their 50 overs, and with the series tied at 2-2 heading into the contest, West Indies knew that a victory was pivotal to their efforts of securing an unlikely series victory.
Gayle helped the visitors achieve just that as his measured century, which included 10 boundaries and three sixes, set them on their way to a good start.
Along with his opening partner, Wavell Hinds, who was surprisingly the more aggressive out of the two on the day, West Indies got off to a brilliant start, adding 132 runs for the first wicket.
Marlon Samuels was dismissed cheaply soon after, but Gayle kept his bearings at the other end, and along with Ramnaresh Sarwan, helped West Indies narrow down on the target.
Gayle brought up his 4th ODI century on that day and was dismissed soon after, but not before he had set up the victory for his side - one they achieved with five wickets in hand.