West Indies captain Chris Gayle says that he is expecting a high scoring Third Digicel One Day International in St Lucia on Friday since the venue always favours batsmen.
“It will be a good competitive game, similar to the First Digicel ODI at Sabina Park. St Lucia is always a good wicket and I expect a lot of runs to be scored on this wicket,” Gayle told reporters at the Beausejour Cricket Ground on Thursday afternoon shortly after the West Indies training session.
The imposing left hander also pointed out that the game takes on added importance as whichever team prevails ensures that they will not lose the four match Digicel Series which is now even at 1-1 after the first two games at Sabina Park in Jamaica.
“Whichever team wins tomorrow cannot lose the Digicel Series so it is a very important game,” Gayle asserted while noting that India cannot be underestimated under any circumstances as they are a world class team in every regard.
Gayle said that he was very satisfied with the performance of the playing eleven in the Second Digicel ODI which the home side comprehensively won by eight wickets and hinted that there is unlikely to be any change to that side for the upcoming game.
And the West Indies captain was lavish in his praise for his newest opening partner, Nevisian batsman Runako Morton who scored 85 not out to follow his 42 in the First Digicel ODI.
“Morton is a very determined player. He might look ugly (when he bats) but Runako is the sort of player to always be among the runs, he’s a steady batter,” Gayle said in a clear vote of confidence for the 30 year-old right hander.
“We have good communication out there which is very good and we can assess the conditions as quickly as possible and make the necessary adjustments. I want him to play his game and I will support him at the other end,” Gayle explained.
In speaking about the batting line up of the Indian side Gayle said that the dangerous Yuvraj Singh, who scored a belligerent century in the First Digicel ODI, is a major worry.
“Yuvraj, on any given day, can destroy any bowling attack. When he is in that sort of mood (as he was in the First Digicel ODI) he is very difficult to bowl to,” Gayle acknowledged.
“We have to try and contain him as much as possible but at the same time he’s experienced and has a lot of power and he is definitely the main batter in this Indian team,” Gayle asserted.
And while there has been some disquiet among St Lucians at the non-selection of local all rounder, Darren Sammy, Gayle rubbished any suggestions that there were any off the field issues with Sammy, saying that he has great confidence in the player who he regards as a friend.
“Darren Sammy will be back. It was a 50-50 call (to leave him out). There will be more open windows for Darren Sammy in the future because he is a strong player and I’m sure he will be back again,” Gaye said of Sammy who is the only male St Lucian to have worn West Indian colours.