Swashbuckling batsman Chris Gayle is unlikely to play in West Indies’s quarter-final clash against New Zealand at Wellington on March 21st due to a back injury. Gayle, who missed the last week’s Pool match against UAE, went through separate fielding drills and throw-downs but looked trifle slow in his movements. West Indies skipper Jason Holder has made it clear that a decision on him will be left until the morning of the game and also boldly declared that his team still possesses the fire-power to win without Gayle. 

Holder said: 

“He’s one of the most feared batsmen in world cricket so to have Chris in my squad, just his presence alone is felt. 

“But we won the last game without him so I’d say we can win without him.

 Obviously he’s been a very good player for us over the years but we’ve shown we’ve got people to fit the bill.”

“People pretty much wrote us off at the beginning of the tournament. They didn’t expect us to get to the quarter-final stage and now we’re here.

“New Zealand can be beaten. We’re just going out all guns blazing tomorrow and just giving it our all,” he concluded. 

If indeed Gayle is ruled out, West Indies might have to persist with Dwayne Smith, who has been in pathetic form throughout the tournament (with 93 runs in 6 innings). Johnson Charles and Jonathan Carter had half-centuries against UAE so, they are likely to keep their spots. Seamer Kemar Roach, who has one wicket in three games at an economy of 6.81is also likely to get the nod ahead of Sulieman Benn. 

Probable Playing XI for West Indies: 
 
Dwayne Smith, Johnson Charles, Marlon Samuels, Jonathan Carter, Denesh Ramdin, Lendl Simmons, Darren Sammy, Andre Russell, Jason Holder, Jerome Taylor, Kemar Roach