WI Skipper Gayle says there’s still some work ahead of the ODI’s against the Aussies – However, the Windies are brave in their challenge
West Indies captain Chris Gayle believes his young team will be fearless and brave when they face Australia in the first at the MCG on Sunday (Saturday night Caribbean Time). The Windies are without several experienced hands, but Gayle has challenged his young charges to grab the opportunities available in the upcoming series and push the Aussies to the limit on their home turf.
“We will take it one match at a time. As you can see Australia are playing good cricket and will be difficult to beat. But we are confident and this is a lovely opportunity for some of the players to come up against Australia and make a name. As I said before, we can win,” the skipper said.
Last November and December the Windies were in Australia for three Tests and played with great heart despite losing the three-match series 2-0. Two newcomer to international cricket, opening bat Adrian Barath and pacer Kemar Roach, emerged from that series with enhanced reputations and Gayle believes others will do very well on this trip.
Gayle added: “We are looking forward toin a big way. The Test matches are gone and we are looking for a brand new start. I always say getting the runs in the board is the most important thing. We are capable batsmen and we believe we can go out there and get the job done. We are expecting big things from the players in this series. You can see the confidence is there among the players in the camp and whoever gets a start we will be expecting them to go on and get a big score for the team.”
The West Indies had a three-hour training session at the MCG nets on Saturday morning and the skipper said everyone is looking forward to the start. “We have been putting in the work, what we want now is to get out on the field in front the crowd and perform.”
Ahead of the match Australia’s skipper Ricky Ponting admitted Gayle’s power-hitting might be tough to contain. They will also have to look closely at dynamic allrounders Keiron Pollard and Dwayne Smith, who are both making a return to Windies colours.
“He’s a dynamic player at the top of the order and generally if your openers get you off to a good start it makes things a fair bit easier for the middle order in all forms of the game. He’s a very dangerous player. He had a good Test series against us here as well and scored quickly. One thing we did just touch on then with our team meeting was making sure that our plans to him are spot on. They’ve got him and probably Pollard in the middle order that are very, very dangerous, and the other guys will try and work in around those guys.”
The MCG pitch is expected to offer assistance to the bowlers in the early stages but is usually very good for batting. The outfield is in perfect condition and batsmen can expect to get good value for their strokes.
- West Indies: Chris Gayle (captain), Narsingh Deonarine, Travis Dowlin, Wavell Hinds, Nikita Miller, Runako Morton, Brendan Nash, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Gavin Tonge.
- Australia: Ricky Ponting (captain), Doug Bollinger, Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Nathan Hauritz, James Hopes, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Clint McKay, Shaun Marsh, Shane Watson, Cameron White.
- Umpires: Billy Bowden (New Zealand), Bruce Oxenford (Australia)
- Television umpire: Raul Reiffel (Australia)
- Match referee: Javagal Srinath (India)
- February 7: 1st ODI at MCG, Melbourne
- February 9: 2nd ODI at Adelaide Oval
- February 12: 3rd ODI at SCG, Sydney
- February 14: 4th ODI at the Gabba, Brisbane
- February 19: 5th ODI at MCG, Melbourne
- February 21: 1st T20 at Bellerive Oval, Hobart
- February 23: 2nd T20 at SCG, Sydney