It was time for the Gayle storm in Rajkot, as the veteran Jamaican finally struck form with a roller coaster knock of 77 against the Gujarat Lions.
Gayle’s 38 ball vigil included seven massive sixes and for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, things finally look a little positive with the southpaw showing glimpses of his good old self.
Needing a massive 214 to win the game, the hosts were jolted right at the top with Dwayne Smith enduring another failure. Skipper Suresh Raina looked good before he was foxed by the leg spin of Chahal. Brendon McCullum played a fabulous knock and with his half century brought some hopes for the Lions.
However, once McCullum was dismissed, the Lions fell short by 21 runs. Post the game, Raina admitted that his team’s bowlers were letting him down time and again.
“200 was a pretty good score, but we still batted well,” said Raina. “But despite it being par, I felt it was difficult to chase on this wicket. We need to improve our bowling a lot. We gave them 185 in 15 overs in an earlier game and need to learn a lot. We are lagging quite a bit in the tournament. The spinners need to read the wicket, they need to change the pace and bowl slow. The bowlers are practising hard but they are not able to execute their plans in the game. From here on if we can win a couple of games we can come back.”
“Jadeja needs someone to support him from the other end. He needs to vary his pace and he is a mature bowler, he has done very well for us, for CSK and in Test cricket as well. Shivil did well for us in the last season but is pretty inexperienced,” Raina added.
Calling out Ishan Kishan as a special talent, Raina added,
“Ishan Kishan is a great prospect for the Indian team. He’s worked very hard on his batting, led India in the under-19s and has done well in the First Class games as well. He’s talking to the coaches and I want him to enjoy his cricket and go out there to express himself. Though we lost a couple of wickets in between, had someone been out there, in the end, we could have done it.”