Chris Gayle's first game of the Indian Premier League 2014 created a lot of buzz around the Dubai International Cricket Stadium but when he was castled by Sandeep Sharma for a seven-ball 20, disappointment was writ large on the Royal Challengers Bangalore camp. The team lost the match by five wickets. (Match report)
Gayle himself looked shattered at the extravagant shot that cost him his wicket and later admitted that he was rusty and "got carried away" after an electrifying start. The West Indian southpaw had taken 20 runs off Glenn Maxwell's first over, slamming the part-time off-spinner for two fours and two sixes. But when he tried to charge down against Sandeep in the second over, he was outfoxed by a ball that shaped away and went on to disturb the timber - an end to the Jamaican's hopes of a start with a bang. (Match Highlights | Standings)
"I had been given a bit of a license to try and take it away from ball one but I got carried away," said Gayle to the official broadcasters after a premature end to his innings.
Gayle's dismissal triggered another top-order collapse as the Royal Challengers Bangalore failed to score big despite the firepower in their batting ranks. After being dismissed for 70 in their previous game against Rajasthan Royals, Virat Kohli had urged his team to forget the horror show but instead, they repeated most of their mistakes. And Gayle looked on from the dressing room, visibly guilty and disappointed with himself.
"I was on the go and I wanted to calm myself. I just wanted to stay aggressive, stay with the momentum but it did not happen today, which was unfortunate," said Gayle who had smashed a record-breaking 175 against the Pune Warriors India last season.
The former West Indian captain was added at the expense of fellow countryman Ravi Rampaul, after a prolonged absence. Gayle had missed the first four games Royal Challengers Bangalore played this year and he would have been expected to add weight to a batting line-up that was clearly struggling despite the likes of Kohli, AB de Villiers and Yuvraj Singh.
But it looks like RCB were in a hurry to get their biggest star back on the field, as Gayle revealed he was still not entirely fit. "I got some injections and I was not a 100 per cent. I had been batting a lot in the nets but I was a bit rusty, no doubt about it. I was in bed for most of the last few days."
RCB's desperation to bring Gayle back was perhaps understandable but the move clearly did not click, resulting in another defeat, their third in five games.
Gayle will of course get several more chances to get back to groove as the IPL moves back to India soon and the team would hope for him to be in a better space of mind when he next takes strike in Bangalore against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 4.