Chris Gayle’s first three years in the IPL playing for Kolkata Knight Riders yielded surprisingly little. Ever since he joined RCB some way through the 2011 season he has more than made up for it, smashing IPL and T20 records.
The West Indian topped the run charts in 2011, topped the sixes list, hitting almost more than the next three guys in the list put together, became the first man to hit two tons in one edition of the IPL and hit a third one in 2012, the season in which he became the first man to hit over 700 runs in an edition of the IPL.
Gayle is not just a T20 operator, although he is the man who hit the first international ton in T20Is, in the first match of the first ever ICC World Twenty20. He has two triple centuries to his name, only the third man besides Don Bradman and Virender Sehwag to have achieved the feat.
In his 19 month hiatus from West Indies cricket, Gayle played T20 in India, Zimbabwe, Australia, Bangladesh and would’ve added South Africa to the list if not for an injury.
But on his return to Test cricket after the break, Gayle smashed 150 and 64 against New Zealand to settle questions on his temperament.
Those were followed up with a couple of important batting and Gangnam Style dancing performances in WI’s victorious 2012 World Twenty20. The batting highlight was his 75* to dismantle Australia in the semifinals and he entertained the world with his unbridled joyous dancing after WI won the final.
He suffered a major dip in his form after becoming the first man to hit the first ball of a Test for a six in Bangladesh indicated form in a cameo in the Bangladesh Premier League, smashing 114 off 51 balls to take Dhaka Gladiators through to the final.
When he bats, the fielders on the ground are reduced to being spectators and the spectators in the stands become fielders.
RCB vs KKR, Kolkata, 2011:
Chris Gayle went unsigned at the IPL auction in 2011 but got his chance when RCB signed him as a replacement for Dirk Nannes. Gayle scored a century against his former team fresh off the plane from the Caribbean and turned around the fortunes of RCB in the season.
RCB vs PWI, Bangalore, 2012:
Bangalore were in a tight spot with Gayle’s top order batting partners gone and a steep chase quickly spiralling out of control. Chris Gayle disagreed, hitting 5 sixes consecutive sixes in 5 balls off Pune’s best spinner, Rahul Sharma and bringing RCB triumphantly back in the game.