< >
CricketWorld.com, Latest Cricket News & Results

Darren Sammy Confident Of Chris Gayle's Return For Quarter-Final

Darren Sammy Confident Of Chris Gayle's Return For Quarter-Final
Chris Gayle is expected to be back in the team for the quarter-final against New Zealand on Saturday.
©REUTERS / Action Images

West Indies all-rounder Darren Sammy has claimed that teammate Chris Gayle who is struggling with a sore back will be a probable starter for their World Cup quarter-final against New Zealand in Wellington on Saturday.

Speaking about Gayle’s fitness, the 31-year-old revealed that the big left-hander had been recovering smoothly in his quest for a comeback to the line-up.

"I think yesterday he had a scan. He had an injection," said Sammy to the press.

"Chris is not missing this quarter-final for anybody. He is more pumped up for this than the rest of the team.

"It's just unfortunate his back keeps hindering his progress but he won't miss the quarter-final."

Gayle missed his side’s final league match against United Arab Emirates due to his recurring back problem which has troubled him over the years.

When asked about his side’s chances on Saturday against the rampaging New Zealand side, Sammy sounded quietly confident.

The former captain believed that West Indies has the skills to come out on top in the quarter-final but didn't mind his side being tagged as the underdogs.

"It's a big match, and I remember some guy named (Buster) Douglas beating Mike Tyson so it's the case of that on Saturday," he added.

"It's the business end so you can win all your pool matches and come in the knockout there is no guarantee you will win.

"You turn up on the day and the guys know what is at stake and we are doing everything in our powers to beat Mike Tyson."

While New Zealand are unbeaten in the tournament dominating opponents at will, West Indies have been inconsistent on their route to the quarter-finals.

While conceding his team’s patchy performance in the World Cup so far, Sammy also maintained that all that will not matter in the knockout stages.

"We're not supposed to be here. We have not played our best cricket," he added.

"We have been so inconsistent but we are still in the quarter-finals.

"If we put all the good things we know we can do right then no team will beat us.

"And the other teams know that as well."

Speaking on the unpredictable nature of the knockout stages, Sammy stated that the pressure would squarely be on Brendon McCullum’s New Zealand team.

“They are the favourites to win.

“So the question is what they are going to do facing West Indies in a knock-out game.

“We are going to enjoy ourselves.

“You are right. As you guys put it through we are not supposed to be here but here we are.

“It is a knock-out game and the pressure is on the home team.”

Sammy feels that having won the World Cup twice albeit in a different era will give his side an edge over a New Zealand side that has never gone past the semi-final stage in tournament history.

“We are just two games away from playing World Cup final. We have won two.

“It has been a long time but New Zealand haven’t won any. This is the business end.

“Coming to the knock-out there is no guarantee you are going to win."

The last time West Indies went past the quarter-final stage of the World Cup was in 1996 when a Brian Lara century helped them defeat a dominating South African team to reach the semi-finals.

© Cricket World 2015 


Bails & Badger - The Slog Sweep