Sport

Gayle aims to leave mark on int'l game

Sanjay Myers

Tuesday, July 31, 2012    

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THE touring New Zealand team has been caned by Christopher Gayle in all formats this series and if his words are anything to go by, there is more to come as the tour rounds out on the left-hander's home turf in Kingston, Jamaica.

As the teams arrived yesterday for the second Test at Sabina Park starting on Thursday, a serene-looking Gayle said his aim is to "leave a mark just like any legend" when he retires from the game.

"You want to leave a mark just like any legend out there. I've gained a lot more maturity over the last couple of years," Gayle said yesterday.

The hard-hitting West Indies opener has been in murderous batting form on tour while smashing match-winning knocks in the Twenty-20 (T-20) and One-Day International (ODI) series.

The bullying continued in the opening Test as a dismal New Zealand attack was dismissively bludgeoned in the 32-year-old's 150 and unbeaten 64.

Gayle, who was playing his first Test match since an almost two-year dispute with the regional cricket authorities, attributed the heroics to a more focused batting approach that has seen him become one of the most revered and sought-after T-20 batsmen across the globe.

"I've been in a bit of form from before the start of the T-20 series and I've really capitalised on that sort of form. I hope it can continue in front of the home supporters. I understand myself a bit more and I know my game (better)," said the Jamaican.

He insists more can be done.

"There are areas that I can work on and once I can master those things, it will become a bit easier out in the middle. The mental preparation is key and I'm actually trying to master that as well," Gayle said.

Gayle shared in stands of 254 and 77 with fellow opener Kieran Powell during the opening Test, with the latter conjuring his first Test century.

The former West Indies captain believes there is more to come from his 22-year-old opening partner.

"Young Powell getting his first Test century, which was pleasing to see... He has been batting well and he showed the patience and maturity needed at the top of the order. Once he continues in that vein he'll score more runs. His future looks bright.

"We did a wonderful job with that 200-run partnership. I told him to stick to the basics and we kept communicating and rotated the strike as much as possible. I'm looking for us to continue that way," said Gayle.

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