Phil Simmons compares Chris Gayle with Sir Vivian Richards

Phil Simmons compares Chris Gayle with Sir Vivian Richards
Phil Simmons believes if West Indies can play to their potential, they can be world beaters.
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West Indies coach Phil Simmons said that Chris Gayle's ability to destroy bowling attacks on his day can only be compared with the exploits of Sir Vivian Richards.

In the first Super 10 stage game against England, Gayle scored an unbeaten century and helped West Indies chase down a target of 183 runs in just 18.1 overs.

Gayle’s innings was laced with five boundaries and as many as eleven sixes as the flamboyant left-hander took just 47 balls to reach the three-figure mark.

“To destroy an attack like that, the only person in my time that I would put him with is Sir Vivian (Richards),” said Simmons.

“Because Sir Vivian used to go out there and destroy attacks like that too.

“I think he is up there with Sir Viv in the way he tears apart attacks.” 

Simmons also sounded out a warning to the other teams saying that there was more to come from this West Indies side and also expressed his happiness at the way the team played against England.

“You think it is a big statement, but there is more to come,” said Simmons.

“It was great to see the way he played from the start.

“180 is a par score for this ground, and we tried to make sure that they didn’t go much past that.

“I was happy to see how things went in the field too.

“What we do in the field is going to make us win the tournament.” 

Batting first, England were able to score 182 for six riding on the back of a fluent 48 from Joe Root and cameos from Jos Buttler, Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes.

However, the target proved insufficient against a rampaging Gayle, who was ably supported by Marlon Samuels at the top of the order.

At the start of the innings, it was Samuels, who took on the mantle of hitting the boundaries and scored 37 runs from 27 balls as Gayle was kept away from the strike during most of the powerplay.

Once Samuels was dismissed, Gayle took the stage and dispatched bowlers all around the park, taking a special liking to the spinners, Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali.

When asked how Gayle goes about his innings, Simmons stated that the 36-year-old makes a simple analysis of the conditions and targets a specific bowler on a given day.

“I think it is as simple as you see it, because this is the first time I am with the T20 team since I have been back [as coach].

“I have been sitting and talking to him to see how he works it out.

“It is as simple as he makes it look out there.

“He actually analyses as simple as he does it.

“He practices hard; he hits a lot of balls in the nets but he works it out just as he did today - ‘(Adil) Rashid is my bowler for the day, I will take him down’, it is as simple as that.” 

West Indies will now be looking to maintain their position at the top of the Group 1 points table when they take on Sri Lanka on 20th March in Bangalore. 

© Cricket World 2016