Smith and I can become a formidable opening pair, says Chris Gayle

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

“I haven’t trained this intensely for a couple months so I hope to get a kickstart and get back into the groove of things as soon as possible”

Flamboyant West Indies opener Chris Gayle believes that he and Dwayne Smith have the potential to become a formidable opening pair.

Gayle has not played any international cricket since tearing his hamstring in November last year, while Smith has been in blazing form with the bat as of late as he scored 232 runs at a brilliant average of 58 to be named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Nagico Super50 tournament.

“This partnership’s a reality,” Gayle told ESPNcricinfo. “He (Smith) is in good form and it would be nice to have a Dwayne Smith atop your batting order. He can get the pressure off you.

“His form is spot on and we’re all happy to have him back. It would give me room to bat a bit more openly.”

Gayle also conceded that all the West Indies batsmen need to step up so that they can “set the foundation” for the rest of the team.

“I want to get off to a good start and set the foundation. This is critical,” he said. “There’s a good, fast outfield here (at Sabina) and there’s some bounce on the pitch so there is something for the bowlers as well. I practiced with Jamaica here for the Super50 also.”

Gayle also sees no reason as to why the West Indies should struggle in their upcoming home series against Ireland, especially since they now have pace bowler, Krishmar Santokie, all-rounder Marlon Samuels and Twenty20 captain Darren Sammy back in the side.

“We have Santokie, Marlon’s back and (Andre) Russell too,” he said. “Santokie’s done pretty well and he was the best bowler in the CPL so it’s good for him to be given a crack at it in front his home-crowd.

“This is a big boost for us going into the World T20s. West Indies have a lot of cricket to play leading into this tournament so we’re just looking to get past this (Ireland) series.”

When asked if he had fully recovered from his horrific injury, Gayle said: “It’s good to be back again and I’m looking forward to the first game and getting that feeling back out there in the middle again. I haven’t trained this intensely for a couple months so I hope to get a kickstart and get back into the groove of things as soon as possible.”

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