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March 27, 2008
"It's just for us to go back to the drawing board and come back really prepared, focused and ready to play a tough Test match in Trinidad."
West Indies captain Chris Gayle is looking for a quick regrouping from his team in time for next week's second and final Digicel Test match against Sri Lanka at the Queen's Park Oval. On Wednesday, West Indies lost to the Sri Lankans for the first time on home soil, by 121 runs, at the National Stadium in Providence.
But Gayle still saw positives in defeat - the bowling and the general contribution of debutant Sulieman Benn, the half centuries by vice-captain Ramnaresh Sarwan, and the second-innings 83 by Dwayne Bravo, who took Gayle's place at the top of the order.
Questioned about that move, Gayle explained how it came about: "While Bravo was bowling, I went up to him and said (jokingly): 'Bravo, you want to open the batting?' And he said, 'Yeah man, that will be better off for me as well.' So I decided to exchange positions.
"It paid off in the end. He got a half-century, I got a half-century. But it's not something I'm looking at for the next game, for Bravo to open the batting."
Gayle did admit too to his difficulty against Man-of-the-Match left-arm swing bowler Chaminda Vaas. "It's no secret. Yes, he has got me out the majority of times in Test cricket whenever I play against Sri Lanka. It's something you have to face and something you have to deal with. I tried something different, tried something new, coming a bit later when the ball is a bit older, and it worked. But I don't know if I'm going to do it in the next game."
Gayle's unbeaten 51 yesterday, however, was not enough to save his side. But he is hopeful that it was the start of better for him against Vaas and company.
"The stats haven't been very good against Sri Lanka, so this is a motivation factor for me, to try and move on from strength to strength."
© Trinidad & Tobago Express
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