Gayle forced to decide
West Indies captain Chris Gayle expects key batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan to be fit for the second Test against Australia.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 03/12/09 1:25pm
West Indies captain Chris Gayle expects key batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan to return for the second Test match against Australia at the Adelaide Oval, but admits he is yet to select a replacement for injured paceman Jerome Taylor.
Sarwan, 29, was ruled out of the crushing defeat in the series opener at Brisbane with a back injury, however Gayle is confident he will be fit for Adelaide.
Speaking on Thursday, Gayle said: "He (Sarwan) said he felt a bit stiff but batting was okay, I guess coming back from an injury these things will happen, so tomorrow hopefully he will be fine.
"He's been in good form as well so it will be good for us (if he returns)."
Gayle also revealed that Travis Dowlin, who made a half century batting at number three in the first Test, would more than likely make way for Sarwan should he recover.
But it is strike bowler Taylor's replacement that is posing a greater selection challenge for the Windies, with all-rounder Darren Sammy and seamer Gavin Tonge the strongest contenders for the job.
Gayle hinted that Tonge could be the front runner due to his wicket-taking ability.
"I think in the last couple of one-dayers he looked really, really good and got the ball to go a bit," he said.
"He swings the ball a bit, not at great pace, but hits good areas. He's a guy that can actually come on, maybe get a few wicket-taking deliveries and block off one end as well.
"Hopefully, if he gets his chance, we'll be looking for a good performance from him."
Powerful left-handed opener Gayle admitted that his side's pride was hurt after their innings-and-65-run defeat at the Gabba, and he claims his players will be out to prove a point in Adelaide.
"We've got pride and we are committed to going out there and getting the job done," he said.
"Everyone is going to be disappointed, I mean we played terrible cricket so that's the scenario at this point in time and we are just trying to not listen to too much negativity, we are trying to stay positive and hopefully we can go from strength to strength.
"We all know where we went wrong with our batting, the discipline was terrible and so a better batting surface here should actually put us in a good position.
"We are not going to take anything for granted and will put our best foot forward this time around."