Mumbai: Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman on Tuesday expressed his delight after West Indian Chris Gayle bludgeoned 215 runs against Zimbabwe to return to form during a World Cup Pool B game.
Gayle scored the highest World Cup score by smashing 215 runs against Zimbabwe at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Tuesday. The West Indies made 372 for the loss of two wickets.
His 147-ball knock included 10 boundaries and 16 sixes. The previous best World Cup score was 188 which was scored by South Africa's Gary Kirsten against the United Arab Emirates way back in 1996.
Laxman, one of the experts of Star Sports for the cricket World Cup 2015, said: "I am extremely happy to see Chris Gayle back in form. I am a big fan of him and he is a true entertainer."
The 40-year-old believes the World Cup was missing a flamboyant, explosive display like Gayle's and feels it will further spice up fan interest around the tournament.
"Gayle was simply fantastic today. The cricket world required this innings and it just shows you cannot afford to miss any match of the World Cup, it doesn't get any better than this."
Former right-handed batsman Laxman sees a lot of positives from this innings and believes this might just be the beginning of the so-called Gayle Storm.
"Gayle's return to form has come at a perfect time for himself personally as well as his team. You could see his poor form coming into tournament was playing on his mind as he took time to get settled but once he was set, there was no holding him back. He thrashed Zimbabwe bowlers all around the park."
Gayle's knock is the first instance that the 200-mark has been crossed in the quadrennial event. However, three other batsmen have scored double centuries in One-Day Internationals (ODIs), incidentally all of them being Indians.
Gayle also equaled the record held by Rohit Sharma and AB de Villiers of scoring maximum number of sixes in an innings (16) and also became the only batsman to hit a century in Twenty20 Internationals, a double century in ODIs and a triple century in Tests.
Laxman, who represented Indian in 134 Tests and 86 ODIs, believes the West Indies team has a good chance to qualify for the quarterfinals.
"The confidence of the West Indies team is high now. Gayle has returned to form in their third match and he will turn into a danger man for other teams. It's the time that others should think seriously on Gayle and the West Indian team."
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