Kings XI mindful of Gayle's scything willow

It was a reference to Chris Gayle’s absence from the Challengers nets, also an indication of the Jamaican’s impact on the opposition. Gayle also has the numbers to back, scoring 436 runs from just seven matches at a whopping strike rate of 201.85.

He is also the only player to hit two hundreds in IPL IVâ– an unbeaten 55-ball 102 against the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens and a 49-ball 107 against Kings XI at the Chinnaswamy stadium, and briefly held the Orange Cap too despite having batted far too many fewer times than all the other contenders for the top run-getter of the competition.

Kings XI bowling coach Jason Gillespie, a canny pace bowler in his time, was quite aware of the danger Gayle can pose on Tuesday.

“No doubt, he’s in special form and it will be a challenge to bowl against Chris when he’s in this kind of form. We just need to enter the field with the belief that we can bowl at the right areas and tie him down.

“Afterall, Chris Gayle too is a human being and he can commit mistakes. But yes, it will be foolish to overlook his abilities and leave everything to chance. We need to plan for him,” Gillespie said.

Concentrating only on Gayle has other side effects as such narrow vision can sometimes blind the opposition of the threat other quality players pose. Gillespie was quite aware of it.

“Gayle certainly is their main player at the moment and we need to come up with something special against a batsman in such form. But we can’t ignore the fact that Bangalore have some really good players and we need to prepare for all of them.”
Royal Challengers skipper Virat Kohli was quick to dispel thoughts of Gayle’s absence from the morrow’s match. “He’s been around for ten years and he knows what to do. He’s just taking some rest and he’s fit for tomorrow’s game.”

Kohli also refused to buy the notion that the Bangalore outfit is a one-man army. “It’s not true. There are other good enough players in our side who are eager to contribute to the team.

“We don’t want to be over-dependent on Chris and at the same time, we hope he can continue in the same way for the rest of the tournament. We’ve no complaints about that,” Kohli said.

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