Gayle confident West Indies can win ODI series
CANBERRA, Australia (CMC):
Despite having little rest since the end of the three-Test series against Australia late last year, West Indies captain Chris Gayle said he is fully motivated for the upcoming one-day series against the hosts.
The left-handed opener stayed behind following the Windies' 2-0 loss to represent Queensland Bulls in the Twenty20 Big Bash, but said he was now focused on winning the series comprising five One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and two Twenty20 Internationals.
"I am feeling really good. I'm happy to be back in the groove and representing the West Indies," said the easygoing Jamaican.
Key players missing
"We are without two key batsmen, Shiv (Chanderpaul) and (Ramnaresh) Sarwan, but this is a chance for other players to grab the opportunity and make a name. It will be a challenging tour, but I know we are capable of winning."
With injuries also sidelining strike bowlers Fidel Roach and Jerome Taylor, West Indies have been forced to turn to more untried players.
Despite his quickly rising profile, fast bowler Kemar Roach has played just seven ODIs, while fellow seamer, Ravi Rampaul, has played 36 games over a six-year span and pacer Gavin Tonge a mere five matches.
Gayle said, however, he believed the unit possessed enough quality and backed them to perform against the in-form Australians.
"The Aussies are a good team and they played well against Pakistan .. but they are beatable. We have been watching the series and we have seen what the Australians have to offer," said Gayle.
"On our side, we have a lot to offer. We have depth and we have players who are capable match-winners. Everyone knows what is required."
The West Indies have just one warm-up match before the series bowls off in Melbourne on Sunday (Saturday night, Eastern Caribbean time) and Gayle said the players were taking this fixture very seriously.
They clash with a Matthew Hayden-led Prime Minister's XI at Manuka Oval on Thursday.
"We know the Aussies will come hard against us and we know we have to be on the money," the 30-year-old said.
"We need a good start and we will be looking to start well against the Prime Minister's XI. This will be a very serious game for us, we want a solid start and we want all the players to be in the right frame of mind when we take to the field on Thursday."