Chris Gayle for multiple reasons is hailed as the 'Universal Boss' of T20 cricket. The explosive West Indies batsman has almost all the major batting records in his kitty courtesy his belligerent strokeplay. Gayle is the run away leader for the most runs, tons and sixes in T20 . Some of his whirlwind innings in the money spinning T20 leagues across the world are etched in the memories of fans forever.
While Gayle is considered to be arguably the greatest batsman in T20s , he is quite underrated when it comes to the 50-over format. The 40-year old Jamaican has been one of the standout players of his generations for the 'Maroon Brigade' in ODIs.
The stroke player recently becomes Windies leading run scorer in ODI cricket, surpassing the great Brian Lara. Now that by any standards is no mean feat. When the class of Lara and Chanderpaul bid adieu to the game, a new generation of Windies cricketers came to the fore to take their legacy forward.
You had Wavell Hinds impressing for a bit, Sarwan looking like the successor to Chanderpaul, Ricardo Powell as a clinical finisher and Marlon Samuels exhibiting enormous talent with the willow, but none could quite do justice to their immense potential . Two decades have goneby and Chris Gayle is the only cricketer of that generation who remains as the lone man standing.
When Gayle came onto the ODI scene, Windies were struggling for an opening pair in 50-overs cricket. After the likes of Stuart Williams and Sherwin Campbell left the international stage. Gayle combined well with Wavell Hinds to bring the much required stability for Windies at the top of the order . When Hinds faded away, Gayle kept one end tight. He then again blossomed into a lethal power-hitter with good support on the other end from Lendl Simmons, Dwyane Smith, Johnson Charles and Evin Lewis.
In the first half of the 2000s, Gayle was hailed as one of the most destructive stroke-makers in one day international cricket. Some of knocks in the 50-over format kept the audiences at the edge of their seats. Gayle was the man for the big stage and he often has delivered for his nation when it mattered the most. His record at the ICC Champions Trophy is exemplary.
Gayle's six hiting prowess is well known around the cricketing circles. He was one of the fiercest strikers of the cricket ball and hit some towering sixes. He ranks on the all time list of six-hitters in ODI cricket. At the peaks of his prowess, he was perhaps the most destructive opener alongside the likes of Adam Gilchrist, Virender Sehwag, and Brendon McCullum.
No Windies has more tons than Gayle, not even the genius Brian Lara. With 25 ODI tons to his name, Gayle proved his pedigree to produce some monumental tons with spectacular consistency. Gayle remains the only double centurion for the Windies in World Cup cricket. He has struck the most number of sixes
It could be said that Gayle being in and out of the side in the last few seasons have taken away the sheen from the otherwise career he has had in one day international cricket. With over 10000 ODI runs, Gayle has etched his name alongside the batting greats in ODI cricket