As the World Cup approaches, Third Umpire will be selecting a ODI World 11, with one player featuring every day. We begin with our first opener, the West Indies' explosive Chris Gayle.
Chris Gayle is learning to get the best of his talents, even if he remains something of an enigma. His stand-and-deliver style is best suited to the shorter version of the game - in the recent ICC Champions Trophy, Gayle was, by a distance, player of the tournament, scoring two belligerent hundreds, including a match-winning 133* against South Africa.
At his best, Gayle, seemingly nonchalant, crunches opening bowlers through the off-side at will and forms part of the fourth most successful ODI opening pair with Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Meanwhile, Gayle’s offspin – fast, flat and extremely hard to get away – will be an enormous asset in the Carribean. Expect him to regularly deliver 10 testing overs.
Gayle can also boast an ice-cool temperament – though he can seem almost too laid back, this should prove invaluable in pressure situations. If the West Indies are to match – or even better – their Champions Trophy performance, Gayle’s brand of Calypso cricket will be crucial.
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