West Indies batsman Chris Gayle has said that he is ready to bat at any position in the upcoming T20I series against Sri Lanka and he added that no matter where he bats, he will try to be the best at that position.
Gayle had batted at the number three spot for the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in IPL 2020 as regular openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal were in great form.
“It seems like I’m the number three specialist now. It was a role that the coach, Anil Kumble, asked me to play. He did mention it before the IPL actually started, which I had no problem with, and then eventually, when I actually got the chance, they wanted my experience at number three because Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul were going great guns at the time,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Gayle as saying.
“It’s not a problem. I’m good at playing spin, I’m as good at playing fast bowlers as anyone as I’m an opener. But with West Indies cricket, whatever role they want me to play, I’m willing to play that particular role. We haven’t fully discussed it but I’ll get a bit of a heads up and work out what to look forward to in this particular series and down into the World Cup. If it’s opening, I’m ready, number three, number five- I’m pretty much flexible. I will still be the best number five in the world, best number three in the world,” he added.
This is the first time that Gayle has been included in the West Indies since the 2019 World Cup. The left-handed batsman also admitted that he had considered walking away from international cricket and that he had planned to focus on franchise cricket.
“I thought about actually walking away from the game and then people said: No, don’t do it, don’t do it. Stay and play as long as possible. So I decided I’m actually going to continue playing. I wasn’t actually thinking down this road. I was like, I’m going to play franchise cricket, entertaining people as much as possible, and whatever is left to offer within the game from Chris Gayle, I want to exploit around the world,” said Gayle.
“When I got the call and they asked if I’m willing and interested, I said: Yes, I want to play for West Indies’. That’s where my heart is. I’m never going to turn down anything pertaining to West Indies cricket at this particular time. So I came back from Pakistan to be a part of the set-up leading into the World Cup so we can have unity within the group, and then hopefully we can win this T20 trophy,” he added.
Gayle also said that he wants to win the T20 World Cup slated to be held this year in India. Gayle is one of eight men who won both the 2012 and 2016 T20 World Cup for the West Indies.
“I know being back, it might be a little bit of attention, but I don’t want it to go in that regard, to be honest with you. We’re looking at things from a team point of view. Pollard is a very strong captain and we have a lot of very, very good-quality players within the team. I want to win the series. I want to get off to a good start. It’s really good to be back. Hopefully, I can perform, help the team, and put the team in a winning position,” said Gayle.
“I want to accomplish, starting off by winning the series, but the bigger picture is actually to get three T20 titles under my belt. That’s actually the goal I’m setting in my head by winning the T20 World Cup. We have quite a few series coming up and we have a lot of cricket leading up to that. We’ll try and take as much as possible out of these series coming up,” he added.