I~~m going through best form of my career: Gayle

Published: Saturday, November 4, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:After discovering his happy hunting ground in India, star West Indian opener Chris Gayle said he is going through the best for of his career and admitted turning an Indophile after hitting the purple patch in the Champions Trophy.

''Life is good for me here in India at the moment and because I'm scoring a few runs in a big tournament like the Champions Trophy..'' the belligerent southpaw said, adding, ''...this has to be the best form of my career.''

Naturally happy with his tremendous show, which makes him the frontrunner for Man of the Tournament award, Gayle is focused for tomorrow's final against Australia, which could be the icing on the cake.

''It's very satisfying to score three centuries in an ICC event on the world stage, it's a big occasion but it will be even better if the team can win on Sunday against Australia and defend our title.'' Gayle wrote in his diary for for a cricket website.

On the summit clash, Gayle has no doubt that it would live up to the expectation and would be a grudge tie.

''The final is going to be very intense. We've played them quite a few times lately and lost to them in the final in Malaysia several weeks ago. Hopefully this time the table will have turned in our favour and that we can upset them before they play the Ashes,'' he said.

''The final promises to be quite even after we beat Australia in Mumbai earlier in the tournament. Obviously that night became a talking point after I was fined for an incident with Michael Clarke.

''That is history now and I am not looking at this final as a grudge match. It's not a bullfight, it's going to be a competitive game of cricket and it's important that I don't lose my focus, never mind what the situation might be on the field.

I will try to stamp my authority on the match in my own way. I just want West Indies to play good cricket and for us to come out with the right result,'' he explained.

''It's always good to play the Australians and know that we will put up a good fight and will be well aware of our capabilities, as we are of theirs.

''We've played a lot of good cricket in the one-day format over the last year and we are becoming a strong one-day outfit. I only hope we can transfer this improvement into our Test match play and become more dominating over five days. That has to be our next aim,'' Gayle added.

Gayle oozed confidence of moving up the ranking ladder as well and said, ''...I dropped out of the world's top ten in the one-day rankings and I then set myself a goal that I not only wanted to get back into that top ten but I wanted to be number one.

I don't think I'm too far off that now and it will be another goal achieved when I do get there. It's always nice to achieve the goals you set for yourself.''

Finally showering praise on the hosts, Gayle went on to say, ''I can't go without a word on India, the country. I scored three centuries here in a one-day series when I toured with West Indies a few years ago so the environment obviously brings the best out in me.

''I love the crowds and the people. Indian people always seem to support West Indies, when their own team isn't playing of course, and they have been very good to us and have looked after us really well since we have been here. Let's just hope they can be celebrating a West Indian win Sunday night,'' he added.


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