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Need to get off to a good start: Gayle

Calcutta: Having played a key role in the West Indies’ triumph in the World T20 meet last month, the swashbuckling opener Chris Gayle is now concentrating on helping his side move to the top-five in the world rankings in Tests next year.

On Saturday, Gayle said he is looking forward to the challenges of Test cricket. West Indies are slated to play two Test against Bangladesh, the first of which starts in Dhaka on Tuesday.

West Indies also play five one-day and a Twenty20 international on the tour. “I am happy to be a part of the World T20 win, it feels good. It’s a milestone,” said Gayle of West Indies’ first world title since winning back-to-back World Cup wins in 1975 and 1979.

“But we have to play well in the longer format of the game, that has been our major challenge. I have made the necessary adjustments from limited overs cricket to Tests and it will be a challenge.

Gayle feels it is possible for the team to climb into the top-five in the rankings next year, a view also shared by coach Ottis Gibson. West Indies are currently placed seventh.

“There is nothing wrong with setting targets… Being among the top-five nations in Test cricket is something that we can achieve and I am looking to be a part of that too. That goal is very, very possible.”

The Test series will be only Gayle’s second after a two-year self exile following a fall out with the West Indies Cricket Board over multiple issues.

He scored a fluent 150 and 64 in the two wins over New Zealand earlier this year and is looking to give his team a promising start against Bangladesh.

“Well, obviously we have to get off to a good start and start the series well… We didn’t get to play a practice game before the Test, so it’s important to get off to a good start,” said Gayle.