Swashbuckling West Indies batsman Chris Gayle said that the West Indies have it in them to win the ICC Champions Trophy for a second time, after winning the tournament last in 2004. The gangly southpaw added that winning the mini-World Cup won't be an easy task, but the West Indies are looking to bank on their momentum from clinching the Twenty20 World Cup last year.
We are switched on! We can win it! The last time, nine years ago, no one thought we would win it but we did. It was a great feeling and we would love to win it again for the people back home and those all over the world who support us. We have a good fan base here, a lot to play for, with a lot of West Indians living here who will come out and support us. We can use that victory (2004) and we can use the T20 victory last year as positives as we look ahead to this tournament, Gayle was quoted as saying on the tournament's official website.
We have a very good all-round team so I don't see any reason when we can't go all the way again. We have to stick together, and I think we are very good at that. We have [Dwayne] Bravo as a new captain and the support will still be there for him as captain similar to when [Darren] Sammy was captain for the World T20 last year.
Gayle, 33, was part of the West Indies team which won the tournament against all odds in 2004 under Brian Lara's captaincy. He was of course also a member of the Twenty20 World Cup-winning team in Sri Lanka last October.
Gayle said that one of the objectives for the Windies, along with winning, is to entertain the fans. Everybody is looking forward to great things and I'm looking to give the team what required of me which is 100 per cent. We have to take it in stride and play it one game at a time. We want to entertain the fans but what is more important is what the team requires at that particular moment to win, Gayle said.
Speaking of his role up the order, Gayle said, I set targets from a team perspective. I always try to give the team a good start ' this is going to key for us in these conditions ' as I am the experienced opener at the top of the order. I will try to bat as many overs as possible and be there for a long period. Once I'm there you know the runs will come, so the others can bat around me. When you look at our group it will be difficult but we have to start with confidence and look to move forward.
Gayle also said that he's looking to get some form back in the 50-over format. The goal is to get some runs for West Indies...I need to get some runs for West Indies...it's long overdue. The last couple of [ODI] games I haven't done well for my team so hopefully this tournament will be the turning point. I don't want to put too much pressure on myself but once my mental aspect is ready the whole body will be ready, he said.
The West Indies are slotted in Group B ' dubbed the Group of Death' ' along with India, South Africa and Pakistan. They open their campaign against Pakistan on Friday, June 7 at The Oval.