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Everyone expects me to be the next Chris Gayle: Evin Lewis

The Times of India logo The Times of India 24-09-2021 Arani Basu
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Rajasthan Royals opener Evin Lewis says Windies will be under pressure to defend T20 World Cup title

Rajasthan Royals opener Evin Lewis is everything a destructive T20 opening batsman should be. The hard-hitting West Indies cricketer looks up to Chris Gayle and is touted as the one to carry his legacy forward.

Excerpts from an interview...

You missed out on an IPL contract last year. Now you have joined to make up for the absence of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes...

Coming in place of Buttler and Stokes doesn't put pressure on me. My job is to go out there and give good starts. Kumar Sangakkara (RR mentor) has welcomed me. It feels great to be back in the IPL. I had to work very hard for it.

What does it take to be an explosive T20 batsman?

You need power but you need to use your mind too. You have to know the right time to take on a bowler and set up the game. You have to keep thinking all the time. Be positive even while defending.

You don't play those ramps or scoops...

(Laughs) Many guys ask me that same question. As a batter, I try and keep a still base and watch the ball onto the bat. Many of these guys have these ramps and scoops but I am not a fan of that.

West Indies will be going into the T20 WC as defending champs...

There will be pressure on us because we have two T20 titles. We need to first get out of the group stage. It's a tough group. That's the first step we have to take.

There's the comparison with Gayle...

Everyone has that expectation and keep saying if I am going to be the next Chris Gayle. We have to wait and see. Only time will tell. To be honest those are big shoes to fill. Chris is a supportive guy. When we bat together and if I am having a good game, he will just rotate strike. Many bowlers fear him but he will not get into the action if his partner is doing well. We share a good relationship and I keep learning from him.

Liam Livingstone in also the RR camp. What do you chat about?

We are in the same group (in the WC). So, I don't think we need to discuss anything. We are rivals (laughs). After I play a couple of games, I can analyse the players who are going to be in the World Cup.

The pitches are expected to tire out during the WC. Are you focusing on playing spin?

I've never seen so much grass on Dubai pitches. We can't predict if it will spin a lot or probably keep low. But I guess time will tell. I don't think they will want something looking that bad for a big competition like the World Cup.

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