Cricket

High gear - Gayle says training is going well

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer senior reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, June 27, 2013    

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Following their disappointed exit from the ICC Champions Trophy in England, former West Indies captain Chris Gayle believes the team is ready to bounce back in their One Day International (ODI) Tri-Nation Series against both India and Sri Lanka.

The West Indies — the world T20 Champions — had a training session yesterday morning at Sabina Park and the ‘master blaster’ told the Jamaica Observer that things are looking good.

“(It’s been a) good day. The first time the team getting together and our preparation for Friday (tomorrow) is looking good. We have another training session tomorrow (today) and we are actually looking forward to that as well,” said Gayle.

“The guys getting a feel again coming out of the cold after a few days home and getting back to acclimatise to our home condition and looking forward to a good start here,” he noted.

Gayle, 33, who has the impressive record of 20 ODI centuries with a top score of 175, scoring over 8,000 runs at an average of 38, said the West Indies vibes is right and they are ready to put the Champions Trophy disappointment behind with a good showing here in Jamaica.

“Its all good. We were bubbling in England but we were disappointed with how we got bounced out of the tournament and this is a new tournament now and everybody is starting back from scratch and Sunday we will be coming up against the Champions Trophy champion, so it will be interesting,” said Gayle.

“The good thing about it, during the Champions Trophy we get to play both teams. We played Sri Lanka in a warm-up which we actually won and India beat us in the second game, so we know their strengths and weaknesses and it is viceversa from their point of view as well so the first game is going to be important for us,” he pointed out.

The last time Gayle played an ODI in Jamaica he smashed 125 from 107 balls enabling the West Indies to victory over New Zealand and the big hitter is hoping for a repeat performance in front of his home country.

“It is overdue. It's been a while and last year I got a hundred here and hopefully this time I can get another one here,” said Gayle with a smile.

The West Indies will open the Tri-Nation tournament against Sri Lanka on Friday and Gayle believes home advantage will be key in Windies success.

“We should use the home advantage to the best of our (abilitys) and capitalise on that. They won't be in their comfort zone so we have to put the pressure on them as much as possible and let them know that we are home and stamp our authority,” he emphasised.

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