Kolkata: Royal Challengers Bangalore’s swashbuckling batsman Chris Gayle has showered praise on his team-mates Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers by describing them as the ‘most destructive batting pair’ at the moment.
Gayle’s remark came after the duo produced yet another brilliant performance to lead their side to a thumping nine-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens here last evening.
“It is the most destructive batting pair at the moment and we have to give credit where it is due. They are two of the best players in the world now without a doubt. They enjoy each other’s company while batting together. You see those big partnerships; they are very fast between the wickets as well. The fielders and bowlers are always under pressure when those two are batting. They are remarkable and both have been scoring runs consistently right through the year. All I can do is wish they continue this way, fill their boots as much as possible and don’t take their feet off the gas, keep pressing. They have been batting superbly,” Gayle was quoted as saying by iplT20.com.
Gayle, who has struggled with his form in recent times, returned to action when his team needed him the most.
Chasing a challenging score of 184, Gayle provided an initial thrust to his side with his 31-ball 49 before skipper Kohli (unbeaten at 75) and De Villiers (unbeaten at 59) shared a huge 115-run partnership for the second wicket to help Challengers reach the target with eight balls to spare.
The match also saw Kohli surpass Gayle’s record of 733 runs in a single IPL season. The Indian batsman has so far scored 752 runs in the 12 matches and still has a minimum of two games left to play.
“Virat, what a fantastic run he is in now. Congrats to him for most runs in an IPL season so far and we still have two games to go. These games are all very important to us. It is crunch time and it was a must-win situation for us,” Gayle added.
Reflecting on his performance, Gayle described himself as a `Universe Boss` and expressed confidence to showcase a much better performance when he comes to bat again.
“It’s not World Boss, it is Universe Boss. All the Bengaluru fans can see a big one coming from Gayle. Since the World Cup I have been trying to please them in a particular way but it didn’t happen. I am looking forward to giving them more reasons to cheer, something they have been longing for some time now,” insisted Gayle.
With the win, Royal Challengers also kept their play-off hopes alive.
Kohli’s side, who are currently standing fifth in the points table, will next lock horns with Kings XI Punjab at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday.(ANI)