Gayle unfazed by favourites tag
West Indies opener admits team has to be at its best to live up to its top billing
Chris Gayle is all smiles during an interaction with the media ahead of the ICC World T20.
West Indies opener Chris Gayle has no issue with the team being tipped for success at the ICC World T20.
Many pundits have pushed the claims of the men from the Caribbean as they possess a number of players who impressed in the recent Indian Premier League, including Gayle himself.
Speaking at his first press conference since arriving in Sri Lanka, Gayle said: "I’ll take that to be considered as favourites. I am looking forward for it. There are a lot of competitive teams here. Every team has a chance to win the [World T20]. There’s not going to be any walkovers. No one is going to take anyone for granted and we have to be at our best at all times.”
West Indies enter the tournament late as the last team in Group B to get underway, against Australia on September 22.Gayle believes his first opponent will arrive in the sub-continent in good shape having played recent ODI and T20I series against Pakistan in the UAE.
“[Australia] are playing good competitive cricket and in similar conditions as well,” Gayle noted. “They will have got a taste of it very early in Dubai. They will adapt quickly. They have won the 50-over World Cup many times. [On the] big stages you have to give them credit. They step up.”
West Indies then complete their group stage programme against Ireland on September 24. The left-hander insists his side will not be complacent against an ever-improving Irish outfit.
“You can’t take them lightly and you have to be at your best,” Gayle said. “I am looking forward to it. All teams have a good chance of winning. We want to get off to a good start and then get some momentum [to the] semi-finals and all the way.”
West Indies begin their warm-up programme against the hosts in Colombo on Thursday.