West Indies in England 2009 May 9, 2009

Gayle blames the conditions

Cricinfo staff

The West Indies captain Chris Gayle acknowledged that his side have little time to prepare for the second Test against England, on Thursday, but called on his side to adapt to the chilly conditions if they're to square the series at Chester-le-Street.

England headed to an impressively slick ten-wicket win at Lord's yesterday, dismissing West Indies for 256 in their second innings. They collapsed meekly for 152 in the first innings and again in their second, when they lost their last five wickets for just 34 runs, and Gayle was at a loss to explain why.

"It's a tough one to actually answer," he told PA. "It's very disappointing, but we have to try and put that behind us now and have the self-belief to go out and get the job done in Durham. That will be in tough conditions, but we'll just have to cope with it and make sure we are well-prepared. We are looking forward to it."

The tough conditions Gayle spoke of relate to the early start of this year's summer season. With the Ashes acting as the main event, the ECB has had to shoehorn this brief two-Test series just before next month's ICC World Twenty20, and the early cold conditions have unsurprisingly not been to West Indies' liking. John Dyson, the coach, responded to criticism of his side's body language when the team was seen with their hands thrust into their pockets, insisting that they were using hand warmers.

"The majority of the time I was batting out there, that wind was hitting me in the eye and there was a lot of water in the eyes as well," Gayle said. "It makes a big difference, but this is the disadvantage we have to cope with. You just have to tough it out and try to get the job done as well as possible.

"I've never been in England so early for a tour, and the conditions are always going to be a bit different from later on in the summer. But we have to adapt," he said. It would be nice if we get that opportunity to tour a bit later. There would be a lot more sunshine - that would be good."

Indeed, Gayle insists that the two sides "are very even-steven," while stating that the difference between them had much to do with the conditions. However, West Indies struggled to cope with the moving ball, and in particular the bowling of Graham Onions who took seven wickets on debut.

"We've had a bit of Onion, and it's burned us in the eye," Gayle said. "We hope we can stop that in the next Test match. He's not express but he bowled well and hit the right areas.

"You have to give credit to any bowler picking up five wickets on their debut."