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Gayle relaxed over preparation

Investec Test Series

Chris Gayle

West Indies skipper Chris Gayle insists he is fully prepared for the first npower Test despite only returning from the IPL two days before the start of the series

West Indies skipper Chris Gayle has made light of his limited personal preparation as his side prepare to defend the Wisden Trophy.

Gayle, 29, only arrived in the UK at 6.45am yesterday morning due to commitments in the Indian Premier League.

He was originally scheduled to join up with his colleagues over the weekend but requested to play another match for Kolkata Knight Riders, which meant he did not report at the team hotel until 48 hours before the start of the first npower Test at Lord’s.

However, having originally signed up for the full IPL season, Gayle believes he has shown a commitment to West Indies in being here to lead the side.

“Others may say it is devaluing Test cricket but it is who can add up the situation as quickly as possible and who can be ready physically and mentally for a situation like this,” he said.

“I scratched my head over it but I saw it as another chance to represent your state, so there was no way I could avoid coming here to England.

“It was a must, to come here and participate. It is a privilege to lead the entire nation back home.”

West Indies can boast recent domination over England, following last winter’s 1-0 Test series win, their first against any opposition for five years, and Gayle’s high point as an international cricketer.

But their frailties have been exposed in English conditions as much as anywhere over the past decade.

Their past two Test campaigns here, both of four matches, were lost 3-0 and 4-0, and they were also defeated 3-1 in 2000.

“It is going to be tough, there are no two ways about it, much more challenging than it was back home,” said Gayle.

“But we have some guys who have played a lot of cricket here and we are up for a challenge and willing to put up a good fight.

“And England are under a bit of pressure to do well leading up to the Ashes.”

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