Mumbai, March 30: While everybody is talking about Virat Kohli and the chances of him playing his third major knock in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup versus the West Indies, another aspect of the game could also steal the limelight and that is the duel between Chris Gayle and Ravichandran Ashwin.
Both players, apparently calm-looking but make their performance speak strongly, are known for their duel in T20s. So far, it is Ashwin who has the edge over his Caribbean rival as he has dismissed him four times in nine innings and they have been bowled, caught, stumped and leg before wicket.
The West Indian giant, on the other hand, has hit just three sixes and as many fours while played 40 dot balls, which is incredible going by his standards. Hence, the West Indies' batting could see some fireworks from the word go, thanks to these fierce competitors who can destroy the opponents on their day.
Both players are in good form in this tournament. While Gayle single-handedly took his team to victory against England by scoring an unbeaten ton in less than 50 balls, one over from Ashwin against a spirited Bangladesh brought India back to the match and they eventually won it by one run.
Ashwin has traditionally relied on slowing down the pace against Gayle, knowing his lack of feet movement. Gayle would also be knowing what surprise the experienced Ashwin can produce to baffle him. All in all, it will be an absorbing contest to watch.
Meanwhile, both India and the West Indies suffered a setback ahead of the semi-final. While Yuvraj Singh was ruled out of the tournament and was replaced by Manish Pandey, who hit a spectacular century in a one-day match against Australia on their soil recently, batsman Lendli Simmons replaced an injured Andre Fletcher who made up for Gayle's absence in the match against Sri Lanka in this World Cup.