Gayle positive about series win
West Indies captain Chris Gayle is confident they can close out the one-day series against England in the fourth and penultimate match at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Sunday. Already 2-1 up, he underlined the importance of sticking to the basics if West Indies are to cap a wonderful home series after clinching the five-match Test contest 1-0.
"I'm confident, but not overconfident," Gayle told the Trinidad & Tobago Express. "I'm a little nervous too, because it is a very important game. We want to win the series. It will ease the pressure off of us. We have to stick to our basic things, go out there and have fun like in the last game and prove that you can win the series."
Two successive wins after a freak defeat in the opening match have given West Indies the advantage, but Gayle expects England to bounce back. "We're not going to roll back and expect it is going to be a rollover," he said. "England will come hard at to try and even the series. It is going to be a hard competitive game. We just have to hold our nerves."
An eight-wicket demolition in the third ODI at the same venue on Friday shifted the psychological advantage towards West Indies and the opportunity is now there to deflate England, a point acknowledged by West Indies allrounder Dwayne Bravo. "We have to win our next game," Bravo said. "We can't afford to lapse or anything like this. The series is still open. We know England will do their homework and come at us hard.
"We have our homework to do as well, and try to improve. The team has been playing very well throughout the series and we just believe in ourselves and taking the moments from the Test series to see everyone fit and ready to go for the challenge ahead of us."
West Indies fielded the same unit for the last two matches and will avoid tinkering with the winning combination. England's batting has been woeful and the bowling had no answer to Gayle's ferocious onslaught of power-hitting on Friday, during which he smashed an unbeaten 80 off 43 balls.
Captain Andrew Strauss, however, is quietly confident about turning things around. "My experience with England is that when we have these kinds of performances, we always bounce right back," Strauss said. "We've got to dig pretty deep and make sure we find a way to get over the line and give absolutely everything and come off the field with a victory. This will take individual players grabbing responsibility. If two or three of us can do this, we have a very good chance of winning."
England, who scored 117 in 41.3 overs, threatened to go under the lowest total at Kensington - 91 by Ireland against Australia at the 2007 World Cup. "In my experience, when we are bad, we are pretty bad," Strauss said. "We can play some very good cricket as well. But we do not have that consistency.
"In a five-match series, we cannot have one or two bad performances like we did. If we are beaten, we have to make sure we are beaten off the last ball in a very tight game. We cannot be Jekyll and Hyde. We are too much like that at the moment."