Gayle puts heat on 'beatable' Australia
Chris Gayle, the West Indies captain, has declared Australia are "very beatable" ahead of the Perth Test and said their batting was not as strong as in recent years. Gayle was the Man of the Match in the draw at Adelaide Oval and his team will be aiming to level the series 1-1 when the third and final Test begins on Wednesday.
They are in that position because of an excellent performance in Adelaide, where they had a realistic chance on the final day of being the first West Indies side to win a Test in Australia since Courtney Walsh's team in 1996-97. Gayle said Ricky Ponting's side of 2009-10 was very different to Australian teams he had faced in the past.
"The Aussies still have a lot of quality players and they are still a strong unit, but I am sure they are very beatable," Gayle wrote in his column in Australia's News Ltd papers. "There is no doubt we really pushed them in Adelaide and had them under a lot of pressure for long periods of the second Test. It was a shame we couldn't quite finish them off, but they do have quite a long batting line-up.
"Having said that, Aussie sides I have played before have had much bigger and stronger batting line-ups. Their bowling attack is also not very experienced - Mitchell Johnson is a good bowler, but it might say something that he is easily their most seasoned quick."
Gayle praised his own players for the character they displayed after a "terrible" performance in losing the Gabba Test in three days. He said every player stood up, including the young fast bowler Kemar Roach, who Ricky Ponting has already conceded will be tough to face on the WACA pitch.
"Kemar Roach will be a huge handful with his pace on the bouncy pitch," Gayle wrote. "I think we will see something extraordinary from him. Trust me, he has some serious wheels. I really don't like facing him in the nets - usually I have to tell him to slow things down so I can see the ball!
"Ricky Ponting is a top-class and experienced player, but Kemar really ruffled him and hustled him with sheer pace in Adelaide. Kemar won't back down against Ricky in Perth and will ask even more questions of the Aussie captain on a pitch I hear should be very quick and bouncy."
West Indies are unlikely to make any changes to their side for the Perth Test following their impressive showing in Adelaide. Australia are waiting to find out if Peter Siddle recovers from a hamstring strain, with the Victoria fast bowler Clint McKay in line for a Test debut if Siddle does not prove his fitness.