England will avoid the trap of obsessing about how to dismiss West Indies’ number one dangerman Chris Gayle in their first World Twenty20 Super Eight match at Pallekele today.
Stuart Broad believes the key to victory is dismissing West Indies batsman Gayle, 33, before he can cause any d
“We know he’s dangerous but we’ve got a very aggressive bowling unit as well. Chris Gayle’s an experienced Twenty20 cricketer,” added Broad. “He knows his game, he waits for a few overs and then goes for it. We saw Steven Finn knock him over at the Twenty20 at Trent Bridge (this summer) and we’ve just got to back our skills and really come hard at the West Indies side.”
Strike bowler Steven Finn and his fellow bowlers know there are several more game-changers in the Windies’ batting order, as well as destructive opener Gayle.
Defending champions England, hammered by India in their final Group A match on Sunday, are hoping the trip east to Kandy for their next three fixtures can help erase those memories.
They are happy, however, to recollect that they made relatively short work of Gayle when they last met him in a Twenty20 fixture — their June victory over the Windies in Nottingham. “He’s obviously an excellent player, but we got him out cheaply at Trent Bridge in that Twenty20,” Finn said.
“He’s a very important player for them, but by no means is he their only dangerous player.
“They’ve got (Kieron) Pollard, (Dwayne) Bravo, (Darren) Sammy, (Marlon) Samuels — some very explosive players. It’s going to be important that we don’t just think about Chris Gayle — although he’s obviously going to be a massive wicket for us.”
Finn knows too that it will be his brief, with the new ball, to make inroads — whoever he counts as his victims. “Potentially opening the bowling against him, it’s going to be up to me to set the tone,” the 23-year-old said.
“We know that early wickets in Twenty20 games peg teams back... it just stalls any momentum you may get.”