Chris Gayle does not need any introduction when it comes to opening in a T20 match. In a career spanning over two decades, the big-hitting Jamaican has earned reputation – opening the innings in almost all renowned franchise cricket tournaments the world over.
Famously known as the Universe Boss, Gayle has been the nightmare to the bowlers time and again. From the fast bowlers to medium pacers to spinners, Gayle hasn’t spared any of them – when in mood. Apart from hitting more than 13,000 T20 runs, Chris Gayle also holds the record for the highest individual score in T20 cricket. The West Indian scored a blistering 175 not out against the now-defunct Pune Warriors in the Indian Premier League.
Brad Hogg, the veteran china-man bowler from Australia, recently recalled one such moment – when Gayle made him look like a 2nd grade bowler during a BBL encounter in 2015. During a match between Melbourne Renegades and Perth Scorchers in 2015 BBL, Brad Hogg was smashed for 44 runs in his 4 overs.
Recalling the match, Hogg said, “30th December, 2015, it’s Melbourne Renegades vs Perth Scorchers. Chris Gayle is playing for Renegades, Hoogg is playing for Scorchers. Before the game, I was hoping that our opening bowlers would make the breakthrough and not allow me to get exposed to Chris Gayle. The reasons being the conditions at dockland were not conducive to my bowling. Pitch stays low. I like a pitch with extra bounce because of my top spin where I hit the bat high up on the splice.
“Chris Gayle already had one-up on me before we started the game. When I came on, I had two plans to Chris Gayle. The first one was up to keep him off strike. The first ball I am bowling, Aaron Finch was on strike. And he turned over the strike straightaway. So, I had the next five balls to Chris Gayle,” Hogg recalled.
“I wanted him to ball quick into the pitch just short of the length. But I didn’t want to be too short because he would be able to pull me, I didn’t want to be just overpitched where he could just power me down the ground. So, as I started bowling, I already had negative thoughts, and I gave away a four and a six in the next three balls,” he further added.
Hogg was also denied a LBW against the Jamaican as the on-field umpire thought the ball would be missing leg-stump. Even a vociferous appeal from Hogg didn’t yield anything.
“It was in the 5th delivery, I thought I’d rather slow it up rather than bowl quicker, just to see if I can bamboozle him, and make him swing a little bit earlier. Slowed it up, he missed it. LBW, right in front, hitting middle stump. Umpire gave it not-out.
“Now this umpire has never umpired me before. ‘Why haven’t you given that out, mate’, why haven’t you given that out’. He said ‘it was missing leg stumps’. I said ‘you gotta be kidding me, what do you mean it’s missing leg stumps, it’s turning back and hitting middle’. He said ‘it was wrong-un, and going down leg’. I went off my tree. I said ‘mate, you haven’t seen one ball that I have bowled in my life, and you are telling me that’s wrong-un, when I have actually bowled a leggie. Come on! If that’s cost us the game tonight, it’s on your head’,” Hogg said.
At last Gayle won the one-sided battle and Hogg was left to rue his luck. “Gayle made me look like a 2nd grade bowler. But, it’s just simple. Anything you do in life, you’ve got the wrong attitude, the wrong mindset, things fall apart. I lost focus, I got angry, and I didn’t control the controllables,” he added.