West Indies coach Phil Simmons has compared Chris Gayle to Sir Viv Richards after the burly left-hander struck 100 not out off just 48 balls as the Windies beat England by six wickets in their opening World T20 clash on Wednesday.
Simmons praised Gayle who became the first player to score two centuries in World T20 cricket and also went past Brendon McCullum as the batsman to hit the most sixes in T20Is, Gayle now has 98 maximums.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Simmons said the only player that he could think of that dominated bowling attacks was Richards, who is a legend in West Indies cricket.
Simmons said: "To destroy an attack like that, I think the only person in my time that I would put him with is Sir Vivian because Sir Vivian used to go out there and destroy attacks like that so I think he is up there with Sir Viv in the way he tears apart attacks."
Turning his attention to the result, Simmons lauded the way Marlon Samuels batted after the Caribbean team lost a wicket in the first over.
Samuels scored 37 and dominated in a partnership of 55 with Gayle for the second wicket which gave the Windies a good foundation to launch their chase.
Simmons said: "We all talk about Chris today but I think Marlon set up the game today nicely for us because of the way he played.
"And he took a lot of pressure off Chris and I think that's the way we have been trying to get him to play because we know when he plays like that he is a class act.
"And if we can get him to play like that in every match – he mightn't get off in every match but he will get some 70s and 80s also and win games for us."
The West Indies' next game in the tournament is on Sunday against Sri Lanka in Bangalore.