Less than two weeks since Chris Gayle had announced his retirement from ODIs after 2019 World Cup, the southpaw has now expressed his desire to annul his retirement. This came after the 40-year-old opener almost singlehandedly took Windies to the brink of victory chasing a target of 419 runs.
Returning to the ODI format for the first time since July 2018, Gayle hasn’t stopped scoring. He has played three matches and has tallied a whopping 350 runs against a strong side like England. The swashbuckling batsman’s striking power was never a doubt but his age surely was, a factor that was thrown out of the window after Wednesday’s ODI.
After England had posted a mammoth target of 419 runs batting first, Windies needed nothing sort of miracle to turn the tides and fortunately, they had an in-form Gayle batting without burdens after announcing his retirement. He hammered 162 runs with 14 sixes, and although it went in vain as hosts eventually fell short by 29 runs, it might have given Gayle food for thought.
"I've been playing a lot of T20 cricket, so it's always going to be a difficult coming back into 50 over cricket. But eventually the body gets accustomed to the 50-over format,” said Gayle, reported CricketNext.
"I just have to work on the body, and then maybe you can see a bit more Chris Gayle. Things change quickly. Hopefully, the body can change in the next couple of months and we can see what happens. What's the matter with the body? I'm nearly 40. But could I un-retire? We'll see. We'll take it slowly."
It was also Gayle’s 25th ODI ton that helped him cross the 10,000-run mark barrier making him only the second Windies batsman to achieve it after Brian Lara. His feat of 14 sixes also took his tally to 300 sixes as he became only the second batsman after Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi to reach that milestone.
When Gayle was eventually dismissed in the 35th over, Windies required an easy 120 runs off some off 90 balls with the likes of Jason Holder, Carlos Braithwaite, and Ashley Nurse yet to get out. And while the loss from there was heartbreaking, Gayle was more critical of the team’s failure to use the new balls and a bad start to the field.
“We have some hitting power in this team. We have some good youngsters here and once we work the game out we will be a force. In Barbados, I took it slow at the start … that was a different pitch. Today I had to get going from the first ball and look to chase down 420. Batting second the ball will come on a bit more so today was that kind of occasion.
"We didn't utilise that new ball well. If we had, we would have been chasing 380. I'm sure the team are all disappointed. I can see the expression on their faces. It's a learning process for the young players. If they do things differently, they could have won. So it's good to see that body language when you lose. When that situation comes again, I'm sure it will be totally different," he said.
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