We still have a lot of confidence in Gayle - Holder
CANBERRA, Australia (CMC):
Chris Gayle's slumping form is not yet a major worry for West Indies captain Jason Holder, who believes the talismanic opener will come good soon.
The usually prolific left-hander has found himself in a lean patch of form, resulting in just 111 runs from his last seven innings, at an average of nearly 16. He is without a hundred in the last 20 months, with just one half-century in the intervening period.
Yet, Holder remained confident that the veteran Gayle could fire at any moment during the ICC Cricket World Cup.
"Well, every time I see Chris Gayle, I expect to see a positive Chris Gayle," Holder told media here.
"Although he hasn't been getting runs, we still have a lot of confidence in him."
With Gayle out of form, West Indies have endured dodgy starts in recent times. With his opening partner, Dwayne Smith, also struggling, their best opening stand during the South Africa series was 51 in the opening game in Durban.
In the first two World Cup games so far, Gayle and Smith have posted stands of 30 and 17. Despite this, West Indies managed to top 300 on both occasions, and Holder believes once Gayle comes good, West Indies could be looking at a massive score.
"Any team would despise having Chris Gayle going guns blazing at the top. Obviously, he hasn't yet, but we still have full confidence in him," Holder pointed out. "And it's very good to see that he still hasn't fired, and yet we're still getting 300 runs. I guess when his contribution comes, we'll get somewhere close to 400, hopefully."
Gayle and West Indies faced Zimbabwe in their third game of the World Cup last night, still riding high on the euphoria of their emphatic victory over Pakistan on Saturday.
Defending 310 at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, West Indies flattened Pakistan for 160 off 39 overs, to claim a 150-run triumph.