Gayle eyes Perth win despite major injury concerns: Digicel Cricket Update
Captain of the West Indies, Chris Gayle, has his eyes set on a drawn Test series against Australia which he says would be just as significant as a win.
For the three match series to be a drawn affair, the Windies will need to win the final Test in Perth as they trail 0-1 after losing the First Test in Brisbane and drawing in Adelaide.
“Getting a one-all result, that would be great, it would be fantastic,” Gayle said at the pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
However injuries to key players will severely hamper the Windies chances.
“It’s cricket, anything can happen on any given day, it doesn’t matter what sort of team you have out there, they can still crumble,” Gayle said as he addressed the issue of injuries on both sides.
Gayle is in serious danger of losing his newest opening partner – Adrian Barath – and middle order stalwart, Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Chanderpaul has a finger injury and Barath strained his hamstring. Both injuries occurred in the Second Test at Adelaide. Should they be unavailable Travis Dowlin will likely replace Barath and Narsingh Deonarine will fill Chanderpaul’s place.
Australia have already ruled out fast bowler, Peter Siddle, allowing Clint McKay to debut. There are also doubts over Nathan Hauritz who injured a finger during a fielding drill. They have called up unknown 20 year-old leg spinner, Steven Smith, as cover.
“Once we get it right, definitely we can put a bit of pressure on them, and we’ll see what happens when the pressure is out there. It can be a totally different ball game,” Gayle said, drawing from his experience of the Adelaide Test in which he made an epic 165 not out, carrying his bat through the second innings.
After being blown away by an innings and 65 runs in the opening Test, Gayle’s team rebounded well and led Australia throughout the Adelaide match but was unable to get the last five wickets needed for victory.
And the hard hitting Jamaican was adamant that his fast bowlers, especially the lightning quick Kemar Roach who has troubled all the Aussie batsmen will not be lured into erratic bowling by the pacy WACA pitch.
“You can’t get carried away when you come into these situations,” Gayle said. “They’re keen and they’re getting to know their game a bit more, so I’m sure they will understand to go out there and assess the conditions as quickly as possible, and then work on the team point of view.”
West Indies and Australia have faced each other on six occasions at Perth with history favouring the Windies. They have won five of the six clashes but, in 2000, Australia won the last clash by an innings and 27 runs. Three of the five Windies wins on the ground have been by an innings and the other two were by 10 wickets and 169 runs. Those were during the era of Windies dominance of world cricket.
Of the present squad, only Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan have played a Test at Perth and neither would have good memories. As a 19 year-old, Sarwan made 2 and 1 in the defeat of 2000, while in 1997, Chanderpaul made 3 in his only Perth Test appearance.