T20 World Cup 2021: Chris Gayle has not been in the best of forms in the lead up to the showpiece event but the veteran player has got the backing of the West Indies team management.
West Indies backing Chris Gayle to do great things at T20 World Cup (AP Photo)
West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick played down concerns around Chris Gayle’s form, saying the defending champions expect great things from their senior campaigner at the T20 World Cup. West Indies will take on South Africa as they look to bounce back from the hammering they received against England in their tournament opener on Saturday.
Chris Gayle has been a shadow of his former self in the lead up to the T20 World Cup, having scored just a single fifty over the last 5 years across 27 innings in T20I cricket. Gayle played 10 matches in IPL 2021 and managed just 193 run before he pulled out of the last leg of the tournament in the UAE, citing bio-bubble concerns.
Gayle was included in the West Indies playing XI for their tournament opener against England but he managed just 13 runs as West Indies were bundled out for just 55 runs. Gayle was their top-scorer as Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali ran through the West Indies batting unit in Dubai.
Roddy Estwick, speaking in the lead up to their crucial match against South Africa, said Chris Gayle brings much more to the team than just scoring runs as he is being looked at as a mentor for youngsters in the side led by Kieron Pollard.
“Chris has been a wonderful servant for West Indies cricket. We still expect great things from himv. If you look at a lot of the teams, they want to bowl their spinners. And we felt that at number three, it gives him a chance to have a matchup against the spin attack,” Estwick said.
“But he also has a lot in terms of addressing the room and helping the younger players. Sometimes we tend to just look at performances and we tend to think that the numbers don’t match up. But there’s a lot more to a cricketer, and there’s a lot more to an experienced player,” he added.
‘Gayle will do well again’
Gayle has scored 1867 runs in T20Is and has hit 2 hundreds but the 42-year-old has not been able to be as effective at No. 3 as he was when he was opening the batting for West Indies.
“Just don’t look at the performance. Look at in the past, he’s done very, very well at the World Cup level,” he said. “And I’m sure before the tournament is finished he will do well again,” he added.
West Indies need to put up a strong show against South Africa as their Net Run Rate took a big beating after their 6-wicket defeat to England in their opener.
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