“Perform or risk being dropped” – Gayle warns batsmen: Digicel Media Release
West Indies Captain Chris Gayle has warned that the Digicel Series against South Africa could be the last chance for several non-performing batsmen in the squad.
Grilled at the pre-series media conference by Barbados Nation sports editor Haydn Gill and Antiguan journalist Colin James, Gayle said that performances of the batsmen in the recently concluded ICC World Twenty20 Tournament should have been a wake-up call.
“It should be a wake-up call but from my point of view maybe it is a pressure situation. The couple of days off could have let the players look into themselves a bit more and look to step up against South Africa,” Gayle asserted.
“(South Africa) are tough opponents, when you look at their bowling attack it is one of the best in the world.
The challenge is once a particular batter can put his hand up and be counted, then it should be good for them and the team,” Gayle said while highlighting that the Windies batting in the ICC T20 was below par.
“Our batting display wasn’t up to scratch. Hopefully the guys can be ready physically and mentally. We’ve got to try and start fresh and take it from there,” Gayle noted.
The opening batsman also said that should the selected batsmen continue to under-perform the selectors could look to bring in players who are currently on the West Indies A Team tour and singled out Trinidadian top order batsman Darren Bravo.
“That’s (the Windies A team) a good place to start. (Darren) Bravo is doing pretty well. Hopefully he can continue from where he started. We are looking to turn around the situation. The selectors have come up with new strategies and hopefully when we come about the situation hopefully they make the right choice,” Gayle said.
Gayle said that while there were no major changes to the squad the players must see this as a critical opportunity to redeem themselves.
“Coming off the loss of the (ICC) T20’s and coming up against a top team, it’s going to be difficult but it is for us to uplift ourselves and rebound from where we faltered,” Gayle said.
The West Indies crashed out of the ICC T20 tournament after a heavy loss to Australia in a must win game in the Super Eight stage.
Windies squad: Chris Gayle (Captain), Dwayne Bravo (Vice-Captain), Sulieman Benn, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Andre Fletcher, Nikita Miller, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Darren Sammy, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Jerome Taylor.