ENG vs WI 2017, 1st ODI: Really Looking Forward to Having Chris Gayle Back – Jason Holder
With West Indies’ hopes of ensuring a direct spot for the next World Cup hanging by a thread, captain Jason Holder could not have asked for a better addition to the team than Chris Gayle for the upcoming do-or-die clash series against England starting Tuesday (September 19).
The former West Indies skipper last played a One-Day International during the 2015 World Cup and will be desperate to prove his worth once again in the 50-over format. He was not being considered for selection in the team due to the dispute between the players and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) but made a comeback earlier this year during the T20I series against India.
Holder is delighted with Gayle’s return and said Gayle’s inclusion is a huge boost for the team.
“It’s obviously a huge boost. The calibre of player Chris is, you can expect really good things from him,” Holder said ahead of the series-opener. “He showed some form in the T20 game and had some good form in our CPL (Caribbean Premier League) competition recently concluded.”
Gayle looked in a good touch during the one-off T20I against England on Saturday (September 16), slamming 40 off 21 balls including three fours and four sixes and in the process became the first player to hit 100 sixes in the shortest format of the game.
“I’m really looking forward to having him back. He seems up for the challenge; he seems upbeat and really happy to be back. I’m looking forward to good things from Chris,” he added
Holder, who was not a part of the T20I team, further hoped that the win in Durham’s testing conditions would give his team the much-needed momentum.
“That (Saturday’s) result should give is a bit of momentum, albeit a T20 game,” said Holder. “We are professional athletes; we know what to expect here in English conditions. A few of the guys have played here before; a few played the T20 game coming into this one.”
“From all reports, it was difficult in Durham with the wet outfield, but it’s something we’ve grown to expect, and you’ve just got to adapt and adjust to it,” he added.
Currently, ranked ninth in the ODIs, Jason Holder & Co. need to win the upcoming five-match series either 5-0 or 4-0 with a tie or a no-result to pip eighth-ranked Sri Lanka to secure a direct entry into the 2019 World Cup in England. Holder said his teammates are up for the challenge.
— ICC (@ICC) September 18, 2017
“The guys are up for the challenge. We’ve obviously got some new faces coming back into the side, and it’s exciting times for our cricket,” said Holder. “We are still at a stage where we are looking to rebuild, and hopefully these guys coming back can bring a lot of experience and expertise to what we are doing.”
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