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Gayle’s last Test match came against Zimbabwe in March
West Indies opening batsman Chris Gayle has announced that the national team’s upcoming tour of India is a “big occasion” as they have the “chance to gain points to move to No. 5 on the ICC [International Cricket Council] rankings” if they manage to emerge victorious.
However, Gayle knows that beating India on home soil is much easier said than done.
“The big occasion for West Indies is a chance to gain points to move to No. 5 on the ICC [International Cricket Council] rankings,” Gayle said. “That’s our mission. I personally have never made a hundred versus India so I will be looking to rectify that, given my IPL experience also. But you can’t discount their talent in players like Sachin [Tendulkar], MS Dhoni and so many more. A few of us are familiar with venues like Kolkata and Mumbai, which host the Tests, and these conditions and pitches usually stay the same.”
The West Indies’ tour of India will consist of two Test matches and three ODIs.
They will then travel to New Zealand for a series that will include three Test matches, five ODIs and two Twenty20 Internationals.
While Gayle was excited and humbled to be playing in Sachin Tendulkar’s final Test in his hometown of Mumbai, the flamboyant opener stated that the West Indies could “spoil the fun and parade”.
“Sachin’s a legend and we wish him a great farewell and we want him to walk away happily, but not victorious,” Gayle said with a wry smile. “That Test in Mumbai will be fantastic. The atmosphere will be great as they always have a lively crowd. Indian crowds always come out to support cricket and with Sachin, it’s going to be even bigger. The West Indies will put on a good show but we’re eyeing the series so we may be spoiling the fun and the parade.”
Gayle’s last Test match came against Zimbabwe in March this year, after which he played in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Champions Trophy, the ODI tri-series involving India and Sri Lanka, a home series against Pakistan and finally the inaugural edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), in which he led his franchise, the Jamaica Tallawahs, to victory.
After the CPL, Gayle decided to take a break from playing competitive cricket, but he is ready to get back to business once again.
“I’m really looking forward to the Tests because I haven’t played one in a while,” he said. “It’s always tough in India, no matter the format, and this is crucial to test ourselves against top-five opposition. It will be difficult to beat India at home for sure.
“We want to start the first Test with a bang and we know what’s required to win in India. I hope this series will be a turning point in my career as I get back to the red-ball as opposed to the short-format white ball. India are looking to consolidate their Test spot in the rankings so it will be a very engaging contest.”