Special Correspondent

Basseterre: Chris Gayle drips with so much Jamaican cool, one could be forgiven for thinking the left-handed opener is blase. "Short and spicy, boys," he said as he settled his long frame into the chair for the press conference after day one.

News conferences are often drab affairs with formulaic questions bringing clichéd answers, but Gayle abhors both formula and cliché.

He bantered with journalists, meeting a, "congratulations on 4000 Test runs Chris, what next?" with "I did? Thank you sir. I don't really discuss my goals because sometimes when I talk, I don't achieve them."

Disappointed at falling 17 short of three figures? "Yeah. Munaf bowled well. I was trying not to face too many balls from him; unfortunately I always seemed to be on strike. But, I am a strong guy. I haven't scored a Test hundred for long. Hope it happens next match. You can never say with such things."

Gayle also provided insight into how opening pairs think: "Myself and Daren (Ganga) are very close off the field. We are good friends and we communicate and share jokes with each other." The secret to a surprisingly high average of 43 with Ganga for the first wicket? "Drop the ball and run. He might take more of a bowler for me and I'll do the same for him."

Does he feel more in control of his batting now? "Whenever I am aggressive at the beginning of the innings, I tend to be in control of my batting."

Gayle also had kind words for the men he savaged, the Indian bowlers: "I think they bowled well. They bowled a few maidens to me. I thought I would just watch it out and then take the fight to them."

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