“India Is Never A Walkover” – Chris Gayle

Despite India missing master batsmen Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag through injuries, West Indies captain Chris Gayle says he is still weary that subcontinent team will give his side a significant amount of trouble in the four match Digicel Series starting on Friday, June 26th at Sabina Park.

“Sehwag and Tendulkar (are) two world class players but (India) still has quality players to step up and they have a lot of experience in One Day cricket so it’s not a situation where we will say it’s a walkover, it’s never a walkover against India,” Gayle warned the media upon arrival in Jamaica on Monday afternoon after the West Indies tour to the England and participation in the ICC World Twenty20 Championships.

“They still have quality players, they have Yuvraj (Singh), Harbhajan Singh, (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni and (Ishant) Sharma, a lot of guys to give us a lot of trouble,” Gayle surmised at the Norman Manley International Airport.

The 29 year old leader sees the opening Digicel ODI as crucial.

“We have a big game on Friday against India. We’re all looking forward to it. India is always a good One Day team and they will be looking to beat us based on their T20 disappointment,” Gayle reasoned, noting that the defending champions failed to make it past the Super 8 stage of the ICC T20 Championship while the West Indies went as far as the semi final. He believes the Indians will be keen to win the Digicel Series in order to return to their homeland on a positive note.

Despite some young faces in the 13 man squad Gayle thinks the brunt of the batting will still have to be done by the senior trio of himself, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan with support from all rounder Dwayne Bravo. Gayle mentioned that he was pleased that Bravo has been performing consistently well with both bat and ball of recent.

And while Gayle’s commitment to the leadership role had come under some scrutiny in England, he says he is happy, growing in the position and enjoying the full support of the team.

“The support has been brilliant, the guys gave me their full support and I gave them the same sort of support and respect which they deserve. It’s been enjoyable. Captaining the West Indies has done a lot for me individually and I’m really happy and grateful to be captaining West Indies and the entire region,” Gayle said.

“It’s a privilege and hopefully I can continue from strength to strength and give everyone something to cheer about. Hopefully we can wrap up this Digicel Series and am looking forward for a lot of things,” Gayle concluded.