Rohit Sharma's two ODI double hundreds motivated me: Chris Gayle
Canberra, Feb 24 - West Indies opener Chris Gayle, who smashed the first World Cup double century here on Tuesday, said he wanted to get it ever since India's Rohit Sharma scored two of them in ODIs.
The 35-year-old smashed 16 sixes and 10 fours to score 215 against Zimbabwe in a Pool B game. This became the highest World Cup score, beating the previous best of Gary Kirsten of South Africa, who made 188 against the United Arab Emirates in 1996.
"I am very happy to get this first double-hundred and ever since Rohit got two (ODI double-hundreds), I have been hounded to get one as well," Gayle said after his whirlwind innings at the Manuka Oval.
Rohit is the only individual with two double hundreds to his name, including the highest ODI score of 264, which he scored against Sri Lanka in 2014.
Gayle, who was not been at his best of late, said he was under immense pressure to perform and could not quite believe it after scoring the double hundred.
"I said 'you can't be serious?' I just want to thank god for this knock. I was under pressure to score runs and I kept getting messages from Twitter and on my cell phone. I have never felt this kind of pressure but in the end, I am sure I gave them something to talk about," said the southpaw.
The Jamaican said he wanted to build his innings rather than throw his bat around from the word go.
"It was a bit slow at the start, not to mention that it was keeping low. I just tried to take the bull by the horns and hang out there and try and build an innings. After a while I was able to pick a bowler to target and then, in the end, I was out off the last ball," Gayle, who scored his 22nd ODI century, said.
"A lot of time people don't know what you are going through as I had some issues with injuries. I am also not getting any younger so age is definitely catching up on me," added Gayle, who with Marlon Samuels (133 not out) recorded the highest ODI partnership of 372.
"Overall, I am really happy and I just want to try and build on this as much as possible. Want to build on this momentum and move ahead as we look towards the South Africa game."