West Indies batting coach Toby Radford believes conditions in New Zealand have been behind Chris Gayle’s muted performances on tour but has backed the superstar opener to come good.
The powerful left-hander has managed just 38 runs in three innings but Radford said the player was still adjusting to the bouncier pitches, especially having come straight from playing in the recent Bangladesh Premier League.
“The bounce in general has probably undone us more than anything,” said Radford.
“For instance, Chris has come from Bangladesh where the ball reaches knee height, so suddenly when he’s trying to hit through the line, it’s climbing and he’s getting top edges.
“That was a fantastic catch the other day [by wicketkeeper Glenn Phillips running back] but they’re shots you might get away with in other places,” he added, referring to Gayle’s dismissal in the opening Twenty20 International in Nelson.
Gayle has been one of the main drawing cards for the limited overs series, especially coming off heavy scoring in the BPL where he plundered 485 runs, including two hundreds in the knockout round – the last coming in the final.
He is one of the premier batsmen of the T20 game with a record 11 068 runs – the only player to have passed 10 000 runs.
And even though Gayle was still looking for a major score in the series, Radford said there was absolutely no reason to offer advice to the self proclaimed ‘Universe Boss’.
“No, you don’t [offer advice]. Chris goes out and plays; he’s been performing at this level for years. Around the world he’s taken on every attack and is a great player,” the Welshman stressed.
“If he doesn’t get runs, it doesn’t affect him. Nothing really affects him. He’ll always go out confident and positive and hopefully he’s in good nick.”
Following two warm-up matches, two Tests, three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals, the Windies are still searching for their first win on tour.
Their last chance will come on Wednesday night when they clash with New Zealand in the third T20I and Radford is hoping Gayle and can play a key role.
“We know he’s the world’s best T20 batter when he’s playing well,” he noted.
“If he could come out and play one of his big innings to get us a good start, then hopefully we would play New Zealand’s spinners better than we did in Nelson.
“It would be nice to leave these shores with something positive.”