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Gayle wants to be the Cup’s best all-rounder

New Delhi: He is one of the most devastating batsmen in one-day cricket, but West Indies opener Chris Gayle is not satisfied being just that and intends to emerge as the best all-rounder of the ongoing World Cup.

“I want to be the best all-rounder in the World Cup. I should be able to do a bit of bowling and get a few wickets as well and also set up a good total for the team,” Gayle quipped when asked about his personal milestone in the World Cup.

West Indies will be opening their campaign against South Africa on Thursday and Gayle feels Graeme Smith’s men are beatable and they need to go discreetly about their job.

“We are playing one of the favourites in South Africa and they are a top quality side in both batting and bowling. We have to be on our A game and capitalise on opportunities. They are beatable. We need to be discreet about the way we go about things,” Gayle, a part-time off-spinner, said after his team’s practice session here.

“The preparation has been good. We came from Sri Lanka, of course things didn’t go according to our plan, but at the same time it is a big occasion and we want to get a winning start here.

“The key is to get a good start and in this new format, the top four get to the quarter finals and that would be the objective and then anything is possible. We have not done well in the two World Cups that I played and I hope things turn here. We need to have the self belief,” he added.

The former skipper said he has his task cut out and he would be leading the batting line-up, which has a few debutantes. “I am the first one to face the ball, so I would lead the batting. Young Darren Bravo can bat really well. He is a key player, though it is his first World Cup. He has been batting well.”

“Unfortunately, (Adrian) Barath missed out. We also have two experienced players in Shivnarine (Chanderpaul) and (Ramnaresh) Sarwan. Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy, Kieron Pollard all can bat well,” he added.

Gayle also hoped Dwayne, who has been a bit off colour, would regain his form in the World Cup. “Bravo is a kind of player who can come like a firework and get that buzz around and bring the energy back in the team. He is a positive player, I am not too worried about him.”

Asked how would they adjust to the conditions in India, the 31-year-old Jamaican said they need to make necessary adjustments. “We have to make necessary adjustments. We have a couple of young guys in the side. We know the wicket here would be slow but we would like to wait and see how the conditions are and adjust our game accordingly,” he said. “The bounce is a bit shorter here, in Sri Lanka it was bigger. The outfields are very fast. It is a challenge for bowlers, but spinners do well here,” he added.

Gayle also felt that batsmen would win more matches during this quadrennial event. “Batters will get runs and teams which bat well will win more games but we are not taking anything away from the bowlers. They are capable and know how to go about their business,” he said.

Gayle also described opener Virender Sehwag’s innings against Bangladesh as brilliant. “Brilliant innings from Sehwag. We all know what he is capable of. He is one of the most dangerous batsmen around,” he said when asked if he had seen Sehwag’s innings in the opener, on Saturday.”

Asked if he fancied a chance to get to the double hundred, Gayle quipped, “Well, if I can get a chance, I’ll definitely chase it.”

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