Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
West Indies vice-captain Dwayne Bravo says the form of opener Chris Gayle and off-spinner Sunil Narine are expected to play key roles in their upcoming Digicel one-day international series against New Zealand.
The five-match series, which will bowl off at Sabina Park tomorrow, will see Gayle and Narine looking to build on their man-of-the-match performance in Florida, USA, last weekend - where both teams met in Twenty20 Internationals. The West Indies won the two-match series 2-0.
Gayle, who last month made a return to the team after a one-year absence, made 85 not out and 53 to claim the Man-of-the-Series award, while relative newcomer Narine, who had a good series against Australia in April but struggled against England last month, claimed three for 34 and four for 12.
"It's good to see the problem that existed between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and Gayle is solved and he is able to represent the West Indies again," said Bravo at a press conference at Sabina Park yesterday.
"All of us respect Gayle a lot and are happy to have him in our set-up, and were happy to see him get back his scoring form last weekend.
"We just hope that his form will carry over in the longer version of the game, as it will give us a very good chance of winning the one-day series," Bravo noted.
Bravo, who himself showed decent form, having hit 35 off 11 balls in the final match of the Twenty20 series, in speaking about Narine - this year's Indian Premier League Most Valuable Player - said the 24-year-old seems to be regaining his confidence after a less-than- ideal showing in England.
"After performing well against Australia where he helped us share the Twenty20 and one-day international series, Narine came under a lot of pressure in England where he struggled to take wickets in difficult conditions.
"But to see the way he responded since shows that he has character to bounce back, and with the wickets here in the Caribbean expected to suit him better we are all looking forward to him going on to bigger and better things."
The second one-dayer will be played at Sabina Park on Saturday, with final three matches to be played at Warner Park in St Kitts.