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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Injury worries for Gayle ahead of 100th Test match

Injury worries for Gayle ahead of 100th Test match

May 25, 2014 20:47 IST

Injury worries for Gayle ahead of 100th Test match

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Harish Kotian

West Indies all-rounder Chris Gayle on Sunday said he is racing against time to be fit for his milestone 100th Test match, against New Zealand next month.

Gayle, who was struggling with a back injury, was unable to deliver with the bat for Royal Challengers Bangalore during the ongoing Indian Premier League. He finished with 196 runs in nine matches at an average of 21 as RCB failed to make it to the play-offs for the third time in a row.

Gayle said all his focus is now to get fully fit before the first Test against New Zealand, starting n Jamaica, his home ground, on June 8.

“This problem happened just before the IPL. It started at the end of the T20 World Cup. I thought initially it was a simple thing but I went back home for a couple of days. Then I travelled back to Dubai to play in the IPL and when I started training I found it difficult. I could not bat properly and bending was a problem, also sprinting between the wickets was a problem even though you guys don’t see me running much.

“It was difficult but I tried my best. I missed the first four games. I tried my best to go there and work for the team but it didn’t work out according to the plan,” Gayle said in Mumbai at the launch of his shoe brand, the limited edition 'CG Series'.

"I am just trying to get this injury sorted out. Even now I am struggling. I am going to Germany tonight to see a specialist to resolve this issue, to try and get fit,” he added.

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Image: Chris Gayle does the moonwalk during the launch of his shoe brand in Mumbai on Sunday
Photographs: Harish Kotian/Rediff.com

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'We are going to get Yohan Blake to RCB next year'

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Harish Kotian

Gayle, who is regarded as one of the best T20 players in the world, pointed out that completing a century of Test matches means a lot to him.

“It will mean a lot to me. I have been serving West Indies cricket for the last 13 years and going on to 14 years now, I am actually looking forward to this milestone. I have missed out on the last couple of months because of injury. I was supposed to get past this milestone a long time back but it didn’t happen.

“It is going to be played at home so it is a big occasion for me and for the people back home too. It is going to be fantastic for my family and friends as well. So fingers crossed and I am hoping to get back as soon as possible. I don’t have much time but hopefully it work out and I will be back on the field quickly,” he said.

 Gayle’s conversation veered towards his camaraderie with Jamaican Olympic champion sprinters Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake, who have shown an inclination towards cricket.

“I have played against Blake during a charity match. He got me out in cricket. Imagine Yohan Blake got me out and guess who took the catch…Usain Bolt! Both of them got my wicket.

We are going to get him [Blake] to RCB next year once he is free. We will give him a crack in the IPL and tell him to go and prove himself…bowl as fast as you can!” the big-hitting batsman added.

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Image: Chris Gayle displays his shoe designs at the launch event in Mumbai on Sunday
Photographs: Harish Kotian/Rediff.com

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'Virat is the guy for the job after Dhoni'

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Harish Kotian

Talking about RCB’s below-par season, Gayle said that the inconsistency in both batting and bowling hurt them in the tournament as they failed to string together a string of victories.

 “The batting was inconsistent at times and our bowlers were inconsistent at times too. If we had been consistent in both sides, it would have helped the team. We would lose two games and then we would come back and win and then again we would lose. We were inconsistent with winning games and it made things difficult for us. A few games slipped from us and we could not find the turning point to rebound and come back. We have got to go back and rethink about things and see where things went wrong,” he said.

 However, he was full of praise for RCB’s young skipper Virat Kohli, saying he is the ideal candidate to replace Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the next India captain.

“I still have Virat as the next Indian captain after Dhoni. The passion is the same, the way he speaks in the team meeting to his players, to get them to perform. He is still the guy for the job, definitely the guy for the job,” he said. 


Image: Chris Gayle
Photographs: Harish Kotian/Rediff.com

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