Manchester [UK], Jun 26 (ANI): As West Indies and India get ready to lock horns in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, Carribean opening batsman Chris Gayle on Wednesday said that the match against India is very important for them.
West Indies have a slim chance of qualifying for the knock-out stage as they have won just one match from six games. But Gayle said that the team would hope of showcasing a good performance against India.
"We need two points definitely. It's an important match for us, there's a slim chance for us to qualify but anything is possible. India have been playing good cricket in the tournament, I'm looking forward to the match and hopefully, we can have a good game," Gayle told reporters ahead of team's match against India.
"The fans will be looking for some entertainment from our whole team. It should be an interesting game, I hope the match goes down to the wire and we come out triumphant," he added.
Former West Indies batsman Brian Lara was hospitalised in Mumbai after complaints of chest pain on Tuesday. Gayle wished Lara a speedy recovery.
"I wish him well, hopefully, he has a speedy recovery," Gayle said.
West Indies had a good start to their World Cup campaign as they thrashed Pakistan by seven wickets in their opening match. But ever since that win, West Indies have failed to spring wins and they are languishing at the eighth position in the tournament standings.
"We had a good start against Pakistan, fans said that West Indies are a real threat in the World Cup. In the middle period, the match against Australia cost us big time. But it's the World Cup, it's never over till it's over. It's a learning experience for our guys," Gayle said.
Gayle had said that he would be retiring from international cricket after the World Cup. The left-hander joked that he is definitely among the great batsman and he even went on to say that there is nothing better than representing West Indies.
He even went on to say that who knows he just might end up playing the Test match against India.
"I am definitely up there with the greats, there's no doubt about that. It has been a joyful ride, there have been many ups and downs. I started my career with the likes of Courtney Walsh. There have been many quality moments. I couldn't imagine anything better than representing West Indies," Gayle said.
"Maybe a Test match against India and then I'll play, definitely play the ODIs against India. I won't play the T20s," he added.
"Two triple centuries in Test cricket will definitely be the best memory for me," he added.
The 39-year-old Gayle heaped praise on Jasprit Bumrah and said that he is a world class bowler. Gayle said that in English conditions batsmen should look to play against the new ball cautiously and then take advantage of it.
"In the English conditions, the new ball tends to move around, once you conquer it, batting gets easy. Bumrah is the number one bowler, he's a world class bowler. It would be important to play according to the situation," Gayle said.
West Indies batsmen have failed to put up big scores consistently in the tournament. The players have provided starts at the top but they have not been able to play a big knock. Gayle said that he hopes that the batsmen would be able to perform to their potential against India.
"Darren Bravo hasn't played many games for us. The likes of Shimron Hetmeyer and Nicholas Pooran have provided us starts, I am always telling them to play big knocks for the team and hopefully they will deliver for us tomorrow," Gayle said.
"The future is bright for West Indies cricket. Shai Hope will have a big part to play in future and he can be a future captain as well," he added.
Carlos Brathwaite played a fantastic knock of 101 runs against New Zealand, but he failed to take the team over the line as he was dismissed when the team required just six more runs for the win. Gayle said that it was a fantastic inning and everyone was looking forward to such a performance from Brathwaite.
"It was a fantastic innings. Many people were looking forward to that kind of performance from him. We fell short in the match, but it was a fantastic knock," Gayle said.
West Indies takes on India on June 27 in Manchester. (ANI)