Notes on Chris Gayle

Folks often compare Chris Gayle to Sehwag (atleast that is what they used to do when Viru was in full flow a couple of years back). These two blokes are as different as two batsmen can ever be.

Gayle is a back-foot player. Now, I dont mean that he is the sort of guy who prefers a pull shot to a straight-drive. The vagaries of ODI and Twenty20 have brought into emergence a new kind of back-foot player: the kind who waits for the full ball (preferably on off and middle), gets his front-foot out of the way, and swings his bat at the ball. That allows him to get underneath the ball (even the yorker is is not spared) and get the force behind it. This technique does two things for the batsmen: 1) it makes him immune to the ball in the “block-hole” and 2) it allows him to torpedo the ball with enormous power. In this position, the batsmen can, depending on the line of the ball, direct it to anywhere from backward square-leg to wide long-off.

To clarify, this shot is a slight variation on the technique that Ganguly uses when he is finding it difficult to score against the quicks. He backs towards the leg-stump, charges down the track and tries to hit the ball over cover or third man. The common factor here is that the front-foot of the batsman is out of the way (a la Abdul Razzaq in his prime). The problem with that technique: it is impotent against the short ball at the body.

Hope batsmen use this technique sparingly coz it is getting a little tiresome !


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