Australia v West Indies, 1st Test, Brisbane, 3rd day

Gabba defeat a 'disaster', says Chris Gayle

Peter English at the Gabba

November 28, 2009

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Chris Gayle watches on as his team struggles, Australia v West Indies, 1st Test, Brisbane, 3rd day, November 28, 2009
Chris Gayle watched his team hurtle to defeat from the dressing room © Getty Images
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Chris Gayle doesn't waste energy or words and was quick to call West Indies' three-day defeat at the Gabba a "disaster". The term was appropriate after his side was bundled out for 228 and 187 on Saturday to tumble to an innings-and-65-run embarrassment that gave Australia a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series.

"It's a must-turnaround situation that we're in," Gayle said. "Two matches to go, so hopefully we can rebound from this disaster, this loss in three days. We have to look for positives."

Adrian Barath's hundred stood miles ahead, Travis Dowlin's first-innings 62 was useful and Denesh Ramdin had a strong game with bat and gloves, but there was little else to encourage the tourists. Fifteen wickets fell on the third day as the game was handed over due to Australia's varied attack and some poor shot selection.

"I'm very disappointed at the batting in both innings, they didn't come off," Gayle said. "Apart from Adrian and his second-innings century, a brilliant innings, he batted well and showed a lot of character."

Despite the struggles of this game and the bitter players' strike, Gayle has no plans to seek an easy way out of his captaincy. He showed his belief in the team and Test cricket by flying back from Jamaica, where he visited his sick mother, in time for the match, but after the contest finished it was hard to tell whether he was still suffering from jet-lag or in despair at the defeat.

"The captain don't want to lose," he said. "You have to be strong in this situation, have to be a strong individual. Try and uplift the players and encourage them and lift your game as well. It's a tough situation and I've been around a long time as well to handle this situation. I'm not thinking down that path [of stepping down] at this point of time."

Ricky Ponting will hold his assessment of West Indies until after Adelaide following another win on a ground where Australia haven't lost since 1988-89. "There is no team that comes here and performs well, simple as that," he said. "It's 21 years since we've lost a game here. And they're not at full strength."

The pitch was excellent for the run-makers if they could cope with the bounce, but the visitors struggled, feeding the slips with catches as well as making bad mistakes, such as Dwayne Bravo's hooking of Michael Hussey to the only man in the deep. "We have ourselves to blame," Gayle said, "so go back to the nets and rebuild for the second Test." That game starts on Friday and the extra time may help Jerome Taylor to recover from a back strain that limited him to nine overs on the first day.

Taylor has had a scan and Gayle said they would wait on him and Ramnaresh Sarwan, who suffered a back injury at training the day before the game. "Keep our fingers crossed, hopefully [Sarwan] will be ready for the second Test," he said. "We'll have to wait and see."

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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