West Indies opener Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle feels a conservative approach has taken over the openers during the Powerplay in T20 cricket these days. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Chris Gayle has been entertaining the cricket fans with his attacking brand of cricket for years, but the big-hitter feels that the T20 version has become too slow — especially in the first six overs — and wants to see the shortest format regain its past glory.

“Looking back on the last 10 years until now, the game has changed a lot. When Twenty20 came into the fold, it was a lot more attacking. But that’s not the case now, especially in the first six overs. The top order guys are taking their sweet time and hence score 20-30 runs in the powerplay overs. It’s sad, that’s not T20,” the West Indies star said during the announcement for the second edition of the Ultimate Kricket Challenge (UKC), which is set to be held at the Coca-Cola Arena in February 2022.

T20 cricket has undergone several changes, one main aspect is the protecting the wickets and teams set themselves for a final assault in the last 10 overs. Most of the teams followed the same strategy even during the recent T20 World Cup, held in the UAE.

READ MORE

Gayle, known as the ‘Universe Boss’ after playing the franchise T20 cricket across the world, is eager to see the return of exciting games in the format.

“It’s too slow. In T20 cricket we need to bring back the excitement in the first six overs, which is the key within the T20 format,” he said. “It’s too slow. Now T10 is more exciting. The 10 overs become the first version of T20 cricket. We need more excitement in the first six overs.” The left-hander is one of the 10 players to contest in the UKC, which also has Eoin Morgan, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, last edition’s winner Rashid Khan, runner-up Andre Russell, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Dinesh Karthik and Harbhajan Singh.

“We need guys to be more aggressive in T20, like the old format when it just came on board when everyone firing from ball one,” Gayle added.

We just didn’t have any momentum in the World Cup right from the practice games. We couldn’t get it together and we paid a cost. Most of our batters were out of form as well and everything just fell apart

- Chris Gayle

The bowlers have also changed their strategies and that has made the job difficult for the batters, especially on conditions that doesn’t allow the batters the freedom to play their strokes.

“The bowlers get a bit smarter, sticking to their plans. The spinners play their part and when the wickets get slower, it goes in their favour. As batters, we can’t attack as the way we want but we need to make the necessary adjustments.”

When asked by Gulf News if Gayle would play out the powerplay overs and protect his wicket, he responded: “No. That’s not the way we play Twenty20 cricket.”

Certainly the West Indies boys don’t believe in taking the foot off the pedal, which was evident in the way they lost out in the T20 World Cup.

Talking about the dismal campaign, where the veterans came back to give it a final shot at the World Cup, Gayle said: “We just didn’t have any momentum in the World Cup right from the practice games. We couldn’t get it together and we paid a cost. Most of our batters were out of form as well and everything just fell apart.”