In the first episode of Wisden and CricViz‘s new podcast The Greatest T20, the panel of Luke Wright, Freddie Wilde and host Yas Rana named Chris Gayle as the greatest T20 batsman of all time.
While a whole host of players were discussed, the decision came down to Gayle against South Africa great AB de Villiers. Wright, who featured for Pune Warriors in the IPL when Gayle slammed 175 for Royal Challengers Bangalore against them, sided with the West Indian over de Villers in the discussion, purely on the basis of the volume of runs the left-hander has scored in T20 cricket.
“For me, everything that T20’s about is entertainment and the sheer numbers that Gayle has put up over a long period. You sit in absolute awe when you watch the ball go as far as it does when you’re watching Gayle. So, I think for his numbers, the hundreds he’s scored, at this moment I’ll have to just go with Gayle. But it’s so difficult because you could pick so many people in so many different categories, but right now I’d have to stick with Gayle,” said Wright.
Wilde concurred with Wright, claiming that while de Villiers could be considered the best T20 batsman, Gayle has to be the greatest.
“I agree completely with what Luke said. I think Gayle is the greatest T20 batsman and I think it can’t be refuted at this point in time. Just looking at his numbers, looking at the body of work that he’s put together over such a long time, around the world. The number of hundreds he’s scored, the number of runs he’s scored, where he’s done it, who’s he done it against. So Gayle is the greatest.”
In 404 T20s played across the world, Gayle has amassed 13296 runs at a strike-rate of 146.97, has 82 half-centuries and 22 hundreds.