His selection for the T20 World Cup 2021 might have been questioned by some greats of the game, but West Indies swashbuckler Chris Gayle has gained a vote of confidence from his skipper Kieron Pollard ahead of the showpiece tournament.
While the T20 World Cup is due to begin on October 17 with the qualifying round in UAE and Oman, the defending champions will open their campaign against England on October 23 at the Dubai International Stadium.
Gayle is just 97 runs away from becoming the highest run scorer in T20 World Cup, and Pollard expects the southpaw to do wonders in the marquee event.
“Again, no words to describe what he has done for us in World Cups, in the T20 World Cups, and T20 cricket around the world as an individual,” Pollard said during a captains’ media session in Dubai on Saturday (October 16).
“For him, 97 runs away, but I don’t think he will be looking at that. I think the main goal for us and him, is trying to win a World Cup and defend the title. He is looking forward to that. Hopefully, he can come and deliver for us. We back him to do well,” he added.
According to Pollard, playing the IPL was a good experience even though his franchise Mumbai Indians failed to make it to the playoffs this time around.
“I thought it was good for us and again not only as but all the players who are involved in this World Cup… get an opportunity to get a feel for what the UAE has to offer.
“I am sure some interesting sort of stats, comparisons, different sort of trends might have come out of the recently-concluded IPL,” Pollard said during the interaction organised by the ICC.
“… So, the other thing about that consideration, take the context of the surfaces, the atmosphere, and put it within your game plan and try to plan to code the opposition.
“For us, most of our guys got an opportunity to recently play here in the IPL in the UAE and we are looking forward to hit the ground running and start on that sort of positive note and get that first two points and see what happens after that,” he further remarked.
Carlos Brathwaite had smashed England all-rounder Ben Stokes for four sixes in the last over to power West Indies to the 2016 T20 World Cup victory at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
“Unfortunately I wasn’t there because of injury but I think the way the guys played in that game and through that tournament was fantastic, Carlos at the back end hitting those four sixes in that last over, a lot of memories overcome because of that.
“We are excited and looking forward for another opportunity to try to defend this trophy,” the 34-year-old said, adding they have lots of powerful players in their line-up.
“We are looking forward to trying to play complete games of cricket and let results take care of itself,” Pollard concluded.