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Chris Gayle picks India and Pakistan as his favourites to win the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy

FEATURED COLUMNIST
News
16 May 2017, 11:01 IST
Gayle was part of the team that won the event in 2004

What’s the story?

West Indian star Chris Gayle has backed Virat Kohli to come good in the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy in England, despite having a mediocre Indian Premier League, where he amassed 308 runs, his third lowest aggregate of his IPL career.

Along with Kohli, the 37-year-old also backed MS Dhoni to get runs in the eight-team event, starting from the 1st of June in England.

"Virat Kohli scored 900 runs last year. This year didn't get that sort of click as came out of injury as well. You have to put those things in perspective as well. These things will happen to cricketers, it happened to best players in the world and it happened to MS as well. They are still match winners, those people will still win you games.

Gayle, who was part of the West Indies side that won the Champions Trophy in 2004, felt that it was India and Pakistan were his favourites to win the event and called the game between the two sides at Edgbaston on the 4th of June as the ‘biggest match of the competition’.

"That will be the biggest match of the tournament and to be frank that's my two teams as well. So, it will be a nice match. And yes, India is holding an edge against Pakistan when it come to an ICC event," he said.

In case you didn’t know...

Gayle has been in India for over a month, playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. However, the Jamaican had a forgettable season with the bat, amassing jut 200 runs in the 9 matches that he played, that included just one fifty.

The heart of the matter

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When asked about the performance of fellow West Indian Sunil Narine with the bat, Gayle said that he was enjoying the manner in which the 28-year-old Trinidadian was clearing the fence and added that he had no advice to give him regarding his batting.

When asked about the woeful season for the franchise, Gayle said that ups-and-downs were part of the game and it was a collective failure, which was the cause for RCB’s disastrous showing this time around.

What’s next?

With West Indies not competing in the Champions Trophy this time, Gayle has a lot of time up his sleeve to work on his game and come back stronger in future competitions.The Jamaican will be looking forward to playing in the Caribbean Premier League, which could be the ideal platform for him to unleash again.

Author’s take

We have in the past seen how Indian teams have bounced back after a slight dip in form and one can hope for a similar turnaround in fortunes this time around as well. As for Gayle’s favourites for the Champions Trophy, while India look a well-balanced side, Pakistan do have the tendency to blow hot and cold and so terming them favourites could be a gamble.

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