Dyson disappointed with Gayle
West Indies captain Chris Gayle flew into England this morning under pressure to both prove coaching wisdom and medical science wrong by starring in the first npower Test against England at Lord’s.
Gayle vowed he would be ready to launch West Indies’ defence of the Wisden Trophy on Wednesday despite only arriving from Indian Premier League action at 6.45am today.
West Indies coach John Dyson believes players need at least a week to prepare properly for a Test series - to overcome the jet-lag, loosen up in the nets and play a practice match.
Dyson backed Gayle as a “big-match player” but he was clearly frustrated the West Indies Cricket Board gave their captain clearance to play in the IPL so close to a two-Test series.
“You get medical guys saying you need time to recover from flights, coaches saying you need time to practise and prepare properly for the series - and players saying ‘we can handle not doing that’. I suppose time will tell,” said Dyson.
“Chris is a big-match player - he handles pressure, all sorts of it, very well. He’s played magnificent cricket in all forms of the game over the last 12 months. He says he’s in good touch, seeing the ball well.
“The board gave him clearance until May 2 - but then our board considered an extra day or two didn’t matter, so that’s that.
“Medical science says that everyone gets jet-lag. If your flying time is 10, 12 hours you probably need a couple of days to recover properly from the flight.
“Then you need a couple of nets and probably a practice game. That would be the minimum I would see as being ideal.
“I ideally would like more time. But we have to work with what’s going - and at the moment, that’s what’s going.”
England were initially supposed to be playing Sri Lanka, but they withdrew from the tour because they had so many key players committed to playing in the IPL.
Fidel Edwards only arrived in England yesterday while England’s IPL representatives - the likes of Paul Collingwood and Ravi Bopara - arrived back on Friday.
“We all knew that the IPL was on and we knew that the players would be arriving when they have - late,” said Dyson.
“I suppose this is something the ICC will look at as time goes on.”
West Indies made the most of true batting wickets to seal a 1-0 series win over England in the Caribbean earlier this year.
But Dyson knows his men will find the early English summer conditions far tougher to handle.
In the absence of Gayle and Edwards the West Indies drew their first two tour matches, against Leicester and Essex, before losing by 10 wickets to England Lions at Derby.
“It’s difficult, because the guys come out of the Caribbean and first of all they get hit with what they consider to be very cold conditions,” said Dyson.
“Then they play on wickets that are totally different to what we get in the Caribbean.
“The lead-up games have been opportunities for young guys to push their claims for selection. Unfortunately, some of them have missed out.
“The only opener so far on this trip is Lendl Simmons, who has scored a hundred and a 60 just a couple of days ago. I think he’s played quite well. He also finds the conditions far different from home but has been able to make a better adjustment to it.
“It’s been disappointing for both Devon Smith and Dale Richards that they haven’t made a score yet.
“Our big-match players will be in the side for the Test match and that is what we have been working towards.”