KANDY, Sri Lanka (CMC):
Opening batsman Chris Gayle says he remains confident West Indies can advance to the finals of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament currently under way in Sri Lanka.
Gayle sounded upbeat as the West Indies prepared to take on defending champions England in their first game of the Super Eight phase of the competition today.
"We are very confident. Our main worry was to cross this hurdle, which was actually to make it to the Super Eight, so I am pretty much confident we should do well. I am very confident we can go straight to the end," said Gayle.
"The guys will be more relaxed. The first game was a pressure game and the second game was a pressure game as well. I think they are more relaxed and eventually they will come into their own and then they can play the cricket which everyone knows they are capable of."
Advanced without winning
West Indies advanced without winning any of their two games in the group phase of the competition.
They lost their rain-affected match against Australia on the Duckworth- Lewis method, while there was no result in Monday's rained-out encounter against Ireland.
Gayle, who smashed a top score of 54 in the game against Australia, says he is pleased with his current form, but says he still needs to be cautious.
"We are looking at the depth in our batting. It's a long way down to number eleven and it's a situation where I don't really want to go out there and be aggressive and don't give myself that actual chance to actually get accustomed to the condition," said Gayle.
"I still want to be myself and get accustomed to the wicket, maybe one over and then take it from there, but I don't want to take it for granted and say we have a lot of batting and then when we go out there I play a rash shot and get out and then it costs the team."
Captain Darren Sammy is hoping his spinners could undermine England's batting after they were destroyed by India's Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla at the group stage.
"We will definitely look to bowl spin against them," said Sammy.
"I think everyone who comes on to bowl has a big part to play, but Sunil (Narine) is our trump card. He has done well for us in international matches and, hopefully, he'll have a big impact on the English batting line-up."
The West Indian players were involved in a training session yesterday in preparation for today's Super Eights tie.
A large crowd is expected for the contest at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium which starts at 7:30 p.m. (10 a.m. Eastern Caribbean time/9 a.m. Jamaica).