Shane Watson still rates Chris Gayle as the world’s best Twenty20 player but the Australian all-rounder has another chance to usurp the West Indies blaster in the coming few weeks.
Gayle is absent from this month’s Champions League tournament as none of the myriad of Twenty20 franchises he represents has qualified for the event, while Watson will be a key player in the Sydney Sixers’ push for the title.
With the bat, Gayle, admittedly with 25 extra matches, has scored more runs than Watson (4332 to 2570), boasts a higher average (44 to 33), a faster scoring rate (155.1 to 145) and has plundered more centuries (eight to zero).
Watson, however, holds the edge with the ball – his 80 wickets at 33 with an economy rate of 7.12 runs per over superior to Gayle’s 52 at 34 and 7.7 runs an over.
The Australian’s standing in the shortest form of the game, however, has sky rocketed in recent weeks and he was named the best player in the recently completed World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
But Watson is not comfortable at suggestions he is the world’s No.1 Twenty20 player.
“I know playing where I do as an opening batsman and bowling the overs that I do that I’m going to have some impact on the game good or bad,” Watson said.
“In the end it’s nice if people do say that but there’s no doubt that for me Chris Gayle is one of the most amazing players you’ll ever see.
“To see the things that he’s done consistently in Twenty20 cricket in all competitions is pretty amazing. I think you really can’t go past Chris.”
As Australia found out last week in their semi-final defeat, Gayle is not an easy player to bowl to.
“It’s a really good thing he’s not around, I think everyone around in world cricket who is is here is happy he’s not around to take him down.
“The number of games he’s won for the teams that he’s played in is pretty phenomenal. For him to be able to get as many hundreds as he has and be able to bat the way he does, he turns the game if he has one of his innings.”
Watson said Sri Lankan slinger Lasith Malinga was another contender for the No.1 player as he was a “bowler who’s had a significant impact on games that he has played in all competitions”.
Watson and Malinga are set to cross paths on Monday week when the Sixers take on Mumbai in their final group game.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.