Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gayle returns Windies buzzing

West Indies captain Darren Sammy admits the return of Chris Gayle to the Test side has given the whole squad a boost.
Gayle has recently returned to international action after resolving his dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board.

He spent 15 months away from the limelight but continued to ply his trade with various Twenty20 franchises around the world.

His impact in both T20 and 50-over cricket for the Windies has been immense following his return and he has transferred his incredible form from the IPL straight back into international cricket.

The Jamaican star has not played a Test since December 2010 but will take his place at the top of the order when the men from the Caribbean host New Zealand in Antigua on Wednesday.

And Sammy admits that the return of the hard-hitting 32-year-old has got everyone connected with the team buzzing.

"It's very exciting. I know he's looking forward to being back in white clothes as well," he said. "Not just Chris but the entire team is looking forward to the Test series and hopefully we can continue the form we showed in the T20 and one-day series."

West Indies have struggled in recent years but have shown signs of a resurgence in the past few months with players such as Marlon Samuels, Kemar Roach, Sunil Narine and the evergreen Shivnarine Chanderpaul making them competitive once again.

They lost 2-0 to England earlier in the summer, with Andrew Strauss's attack making early inroads into the batting line-up in both matches.

And Sammy hopes that the return of the mercurial opener will help to solidify the top six and help the youngsters express themselves later in the innings.

"Our opening position has been a spot of bother for us, but with the experience back there hopefully we can see off the new ball and put a good total on the board," he added. "The new ball we have struggled for the last year or so. His experience, he can pass it on to the younger players."

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