By Kwesi Mugisa
SportsMax– Windies all-rounder Andre Russell would give compatriot Chris Gayle the edge as a bigger hitter following an impressive start to the Indian Premier League (IPL) for both players.
The 38-year-old Gayle, who narrowly missed out on playing in the competition this season after being taken late in the draft, proved he was still very much a force to be reckoned with in a sensational knock for Punjab Kings XI on Sunday.
The big left-hander smashed Chennai Super Kings for 63 off just 33 balls in a four-run win for Punjab on his IPL season debut. Not to be outdone, Russell scored a pulsating 41 off just 12 balls against Delhi Daredevils on Monday, a knock which included six massive sixes.
Russell, who recently returned to the sport after serving a one-year ban for a doping whereabouts violation, was also brutal against Chennai in Kolkatta Knight Riders’ previous encounter smashing 11 sixes and just one four in an 88-run knock in 36 balls. While admitting that it is a close comparison Russell was happy to give Gayle the edge.
“It’s tight at the moment (on whether he or Gayle is the bigger hitter), he’s the Universal boss (Gayle), so I give it to him, he has the Midas touch,” Russell said.
Gayle is one of the greatest T20 players of all time, with an average of 40 and a strike rate of 150 in T20 cricket. The batsman has an amazing 20 centuries to his name, along with 68 half-centuries.