The bowlers plying their trade in the second edition of the Indian Premier League must have lost their sleep when Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum joined forces for Kolkata Knight Riders.
However, the destructive duo could only bat together for only the initial matches and that too without making much of an impact as the Kolkata-based franchise finished the season at the bottom of the points table. But both the stalwarts have come a long way since then.
While Gayle is the first and the only man so far to have scored 10,000 runs in the shortest format of the game, McCullum is the leading run-scorer in T20 Internationals. Well, the dynamic duo is now all set to open the innings together once again for Rangpur Riders in Bangladesh Premier League, and Gayle is well aware of the fans’ expectations.
“Everyone in Bangladesh want to be entertained by two great entertainers in myself and McCullum,” Gayle mentioned. “This is why the pressure is going to be on us.
“But we expect these things. The crowd is going to be very noisy. It is going to be fantastic if we can get off to a start, hitting a lot of boundaries and get the crowd excited. Maybe the other guys can build up from it and see what total we can set or get,” added Gayle.
The former West Indies further said he is privileged to open the batting with the legendary New Zealand star.
“We know how destructive BM is. It is a privilege to open the batting with him again. We opened together way back in the IPL. Now we are joining forces together again. It is new for both of us to come in and go for a blast but we have experience,” Gayle said. “The expectation is high on us to deliver. We want to try our best and win the game tomorrow.”
Gayle, who has scored a staggering 18 centuries in T20s, has so far scored 10,571 runs while McCullum has scored over 8,000 runs with the help of seven hundreds and 43 fifties.
The southpaw also dismissed suggestions that the team would be heavily dependent on the opening duo, saying that the team has several other experienced players in the form of skipper Mashrafe Mortaza and England all-rounder Ravi Bopara.
“There’s a lot of experience within the team led by [Mashrafe] Mortaza. The bowling attack has a lot of experience as well,” he said.
“We have Mr. [Ravi] Bopara as well. It is not a situation where we can look to depend on one particular person. There are a lot of match winners in the team. It is not like we are going to depend on Gayle and McCullum to get the job done,” he added.
Gayle said that he does not think about personal milestones and is hopeful of starting the tournament on a bright note.
“Normally I don’t plan on the number of sixes in a competition. Hopefully I get off to a good start tomorrow and maybe set the momentum for the tournament,” he said. “I don’t know how much I need to reach 11,000 runs but it is nine games to go. It is about getting back to the groove. I know what to expect in these conditions and I am looking forward to the challenge.”
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