Gayle: ‘I wanted the bowlers to know who’s in charge’

Chris Gayle was ‘pleased’ to hit a match-winning century against Sunrisers Hyderabad, an innings that well and truly re-established his credentials as the IPL’s biggest crowd-puller.

Chris Gayle’s century was a gift to his daughter, Crisalina.   -  PTI

Chris Gayle found a birthday present for his two-year-old daughter, Crisalina, but made Sunrisers Hyderabad pay for it.

Gayle’s sixth Indian Premier League (IPL) century on Thursday night, following a half-century in his first outing for Kings XI Punjab, has raised expectations from him. Not that pressure makes any difference to the big-hitting Jamaican.

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Looking back at the innings that well and truly re-established his credentials as the IPL’s biggest crowd-puller, Gayle said on Thursday night, “The idea was to give the team a good start and hopefully build on that. Eventually, I got a century and I am pleased to do so. As I say, when you are in form, you must try and build on the momentum.”

Gayle acknowledged the contribution of ‘mentor’ Virender Sehwag and said, “Within the team, we try to look at three things — entertainment, freedom and everybody should actually be outgoing.”

‘You cannot walk all your life’

For a change, the 38-year-old rotated the strike well and once even ran a rare second run. “I did some running (laughs). It was a big outfield. You got to run sometimes. You cannot walk all your life.”

He shared the plans he had for bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan, the leg-spinner whom he carted for 42 runs, with six sixes, including four in a row. “Bhuvi is a key bowler, a wicket-taker. He started well so you got to look at him. If he bowls loose, and I get a momentum on him, then you can look to take him down. But that was not the situation where I needed to take any chances.

‘Universe Boss’ is here

“Rashid has been bowling phenomenally well in IPL and in fact, in his entire career. But I wanted to put him in a bit of pressure. I wanted to let him know that “Universe Boss” is here. I wanted the bowlers to know who’s in charge.”

Read: Gayle says 'nothing to prove' after IPL ton

Talking about his distinct celebratory ways (cradling the bat), Gayle said, “It is another celebration for my daughter, Crisalina. It’s her birthday (on Friday). I love her so much. And, it’s a second time around in India for her birthday.”

On what makes him a favourite of the crowd, Gayle said, “I love to interact with fans once I go out there in the middle, even from the outfield. Everyone knows Chris Gayle is very, very outgoing, overall, loves to have fun. That plays off in his cricket as well. That’s how I go about enjoying my life. Life is enjoyment for me — on the field and off the field. Nothing will stop me from enjoying my life. I wish to carry on living my life to the fullest. And have a blast!”