ICC World Cup: Mumbai connection to Chris Gayle's record-breaking double ton
Canberra: Believe it or not, but there is a Mumbai connection to West Indies opener Chris Gayle's innings of 215 against Zimbabwe, which saw him become the highest ever individual World Cup scorer on Tuesday at Manuka Oval in Canberra. And the connection is Indian openers Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma.
Connection with Sachin Tendulkar
Gayle and Sachin's bond is double-fold. While their batting styles may not be similar, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and West Indies' devastating opener Chris Gayle chose the same day -- February 24 -- to score their respective One-Day International (ODI) double-centuries.
If on Feb 24, 2010, Tendulkar entered the records books by hitting the first ever ODI double-hundred, exactly five years on, Gayle slammed a 147-ball 215 to score the World Cup's first and only double-ton Tuesday.
Chris Gayle celebrates his double century during the 2015 Cricket World Cup Pool 'B' match between West Indies and Zimbabwe at The Manuka Oval in Canberra on Tuesday. Pic/AFP
The coincidence does not end only with the day, both batsmen ended up playing exactly the same number of deliveries -- 147.
The coincidence has caught the imagination of cricket buffs with many of them taking to social networking sites to spread the information -- and quite a few calling Gayle's effort as a tribute to Tendulkar.
Chasing Rohit Sharma's record
After smashing the first World Cup double-century on Tuesday, Gayle said he wanted to get it ever since India's Rohit Sharma scored two of them in ODIs.
The 35-year-old smashed 16 sixes and 10 fours to score 215 against Zimbabwe in a Pool B game. This became the highest World Cup score, beating the previous best of Gary Kirsten of South Africa, who made 188 against the United Arab Emirates in 1996.
"I am very happy to get this first double-hundred and ever since Rohit got two (ODI double-hundreds), I have been hounded to get one as well," Gayle said after his whirlwind innings at the Manuka Oval.
Rohit is the only individual with two double-hundreds to his name, including the highest ODI score of 264 which he scored against Sri Lanka in 2014.
Gayle's majestic innings against Zimbabwe in a Pool B clash at the Manuka Oval here made him the only non-Indian in the 200-plus club. The southpaw is now also the only player to score a 300 in Tests, 200 in ODIs, and 100 in Twenty20s.
The others in the ODI double-ton club are swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag and Rohit Sharma, who besides achieving the feat twice also holds the record for the highest individual score with an incredible 264 against Sri Lanka last year.
'Felt so much pressure'
Gayle, who was not been his best of late, said he was under immense pressure to perform and could not quite believe it after scoring the double hundred.
"I said 'you can't be serious?’ I just want to thank god for this knock. I was under pressure to score runs and I kept getting messages from Twitter and on my cell phone. I have never felt this kind of pressure but in the end, I am sure I gave them something to talk about," said the southpaw.
The Jamaican said he wanted to build his innings rather than throw his bat around from the word go.
"It was a bit slow at the start, not to mention that it was keeping low. I just tried to take the bull by the horns and hang out there and try and build an innings. After a while I was able to pick a bowler to target and then, in the end, I was out off the last ball," Gayle, who scored his 22nd ODI century, said.
"A lot of time people don't know what you are going through as I had some issues with injuries. I am also not getting any younger so age is definitely catching up on me," added Gayle, who with Marlon Samuels (133 not out) recorded the highest ODI partnership of 372.
"Overall, I am really happy and I just want to try and build on this as much as possible. Want to build on this momentum and move ahead as we look towards the South Africa game."