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Chris Gayle: The numbers behind the ‘Universe Boss’ on his 40th Birthday

Aakash Arya
ANALYST
Feature
23 Sep 2019, 17:39 IST

West Indies batsman Chris Gayle
West Indies batsman Chris Gayle

With Christopher Henry Gayle, it’s been a game of numbers. Turning 40 isn’t bad if you can still have a go at some of the world’s best bowlers in the shortest format of the game which is more suited for younger and sharper legs. But despite the negligible use of footwork and limited bodily presence (hid by the captain in the slips or short third man-region), Chris Gayle has actively made a case for himself, regardless of the format. 

If there’s a franchise league taking place in some part of the world, Chris Gayle is an automatic choice. But there’s more to Gayle than just being a 391-T20 game veteran. 

His 103 Test matches at an average of above 42 didn’t earn him get the title of ‘Universe Boss’, but made the opposition take him seriously, a batsman who put a price on his wicket. Some of Gayle’s best performances in Test cricket came against an Australia Cricket Team (Australia Cricket) bowling line-up that boasted the likes Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee. 

A career that started in 1999, Chris Gayle reached his best average of 51.45 in all formats, nine years later in 2008. One of the few good things that happened to West Indies Cricket during those times was the overlap of Gayle’s performance with the responsibility of captaining the side (from 2007 to 2010). He played 90 games from 2007 to 2010 as captain with an average of just below 43, registering 9 centuries to his name which is more than his average of 37.86 as not captain. Since the start of the century, only Brian Lara had captained the team more (113 matches). The carefree Gayle performed at his best when he rallied the team behind him with a positive attitude. His averages of 52.73 in the 17 ICC Champions Trophy games along-with an average of 40 in the 28 matches of the ICC T20 World Cup prove that he is a big-match player, someone who enjoys the attention and feeds on it.

Chris Gayle in action v Australia
Chris Gayle in action v Australia

When most of the world’s top batters have found it difficult to score in the Indian sub-continent, Chris Gayle soars high with 10 hundreds in 98 matches, scoring 3998 runs. Chris also scored his career-high and iconic 333 against Sri Lanka at Galle, a number which even became part of his brand name. Playing home or away, Chris dominated world bowlers on flat as well as green tracks. His 19 away centuries are 2 more than what he scored in the Caribbean, thereby supporting his tag of the ‘Universe Boss’ with facts and numbers. 

And here’s wishing the Jamaican a happy 40th Birthday.

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