Much has been made of the fact that Chris Gayle has become consistent at Twenty20, because many mistakenly believe the format is all about luck. Clearly it isn’t, as Gayle has shown. His has been a calculating method: See off the good bowler; cane Joe McMilitary-Medium.
However, this execution of Twenty20 arse-spankery has left a little obscured. In club and franchise cricket, there’s always at least three bowlers who are middling-to-crap, but what of international cricket?
A man who’s hit triple hundreds against South Africa and Sri Lanka clearly once had it and on yesterday’s evidence, Gayle still does. Every England pace bowler he faced got a damn good shoeing.
He did it the old-fashioned way. He took a look. Having made one run off Steven Finn’s first seven deliveries to him, Gayle then engaged the long handle, thumping and fluking three successive fours. He took a look at James Anderson as well before going on the offensive, although by the time Tim Bresnan came into the attack, the long handle couldn’t be disengaged.
If he did make a mistake, it was in continuing to bat left-handed against Graeme Swann. Studies show that is not an effective strategy.