South Africa v West Indies, 1st Test, Port Elizabeth, 4th day December 30, 2007

'We're not going to be complacent' - Gayle

Cricinfo staff



Chris Gayle: "It was really pleasing to see how we operated under pressure" © AFP
 

Chris Gayle, the West Indies captain, has said it was tremendous beating South Africa on their home soil, especially so with a relatively young and inexperienced side. "It was really pleasing to see how we operated under pressure," Gayle told the Caribbean Media Corporation. "We just have to try and keep on improving and maintaining the discipline."

Gayle said West Indies now have to focus on improving on their performance in Port Elizabeth where they won their first away Test against a sizeable opposition since June 2000 when they beat England in Birmingham. "This is a different challenge. We usually win Test matches at the end of the series when it's already lost. Now, we are one-up at the start of a series so we'll see how we cope with it for the next couple of days. We know what we're here for so we're not going to be complacent."

Though he admitted that leadership was important, Gayle insisted that every player must be given the chance to prove himself. "Sometimes too much is expected of them too soon. You have to give them time to develop as persons and as cricketers as well."

Of his own style of captaincy, Gayle said he tells it like it is. "I'm not going to lie or anything like that. It's not for you to take what I say personally, whatever the situation, but to understand and look into yourself to see where improvements can be made."

Looking forward to the second Test, Gayle said West Indies expected South Africa to come back strong and hard at them. "We'll be prepared for it," he countered. "We're looking for the fight. Challenges are what we expect, so we'll try to cope with it. Cape Town is always a good wicket so hopefully we can put up an even better performance there than we did in this game."

Graeme Smith, the South African captain, said South Africa were better individually and as a team than they had shown the four days in Port Elizabeth and promised they would rebound in the next Test. He said the three days of rain preceding the match had hampered South Africa's preparations but refused to use it as an excuse for the defeat.

The second Test will start on January 2, followed by the third and final one in Durban on January 10.