Gayle back as Windies take on England
Chennai, India – Chris Gayle is ready to face England. The big left-hander said he strong again and will take his place at the top of the order in Thursday’s ICC Cricket World Cup Group B match.
The 31-year-old missed last week’s match against Ireland, but has recovered for what many see as the biggest match of the tournament so far. A win would take the Windies to the quarter-finals, while defeat would see England out of the competition.
First ball at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk is 2.30 pm (5 am Eastern Caribbean Time/4 am Jamaica Time).
“I’m feeling really good ... my preparation has been going really well. This is a game that we have planned for and worked hard towards. My role in the team remains the same. It is to give the team a good start with the bat and that’s the aim. We have been playing some good allround cricket and we plan to continue and go from strength to strength. We are enjoying each other’s success and we playing very well as a team. We are all enjoying the challenges and playing for the people of the West Indies,” Gayle said.
On a personal note Gayle said: “My plan is always to bat within the team’s plan. My first job is to see off that new ball and try to stay at the crease for a long as possible and bat as many overs as I can. After that, the aim is to try and bat through the innings and set-up a match-winning total so the bowlers have something to bowl at. I know that once I stay around for a while we can set a big total, so I’m always thinking of staying out there for as long as I can. We have some very capable batsmen in the team and everyone knows the job at hand.”
Looking ahead to the challenge of facing England, Gayle added: “It’s great to face England. I always enjoy playing against England. It will be an interesting match. The fans can expect a great match. It’s a decider for them. It will be tough for them but most teams, when back are against the wall, they can be a very be dangerous team, so we have to on top of our game when we play against them.”
West Indies: Darren Sammy (captain), Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Devon Smith, Sulieman Benn, Nikita Miller, Devon Thomas, Andre Russell, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Shiv Chanderpaul, Kirk Edwards
England: Andrew Strauss (captain), , Paul Collingwood, Ravi Bopara, Eion Morgan, Matt Prior, Ajmal Shahzad, Graeme Swann, James Tredwell, Jonathan Trott, James Anderson, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Chris Tremlett, Luke Wright, Michael Yardy
Officials: Bruce Oxenford, Steve Davis (umpires), Shahvir Tarapore (television umpire), Simon Taufel (fourth official), Roshan Mahanama (match referee)