PERTH, Australia, CMC – Legendary former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd has dismissed suggestions the Caribbean side has become overly dependent on ace opener Chris Gayle and was missing regular faces like Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo from the middle order.
Speaking to media here yesterday, Lloyd said while Gayle was a key member of the Windies batting department, the team was blessed with good talent which allowed them to bat deep.
“Before the Zimbabwe game, Gayle hadn’t really contributed. It’s great whenever we get a good start with him,” said Lloyd, the current chairman of selectors.
“He scores rather quickly. He’s a very strong player. Whenever he takes off, it gives the team a good impetus.”
He continued: “I think we have a formidable side. We bat to eight or nine; everybody from one to nine has done extremely well, posted big scores.
“I don’t think we have any problem there [in the middle order]. Once we bat to our potential, we will do extremely well.”
The left-handed Gayle blasted a World Cup-record 215 against Zimbabwe in Canberra recently, to end a slump which had seen him with just one half-century in 20 months and an average of 14.
Prior to that innings, Gayle had put together scores of 0 and 1 in the official warm-up matches against England and Scotland, and 36 and 4 in the first two group stage matches against Ireland and Pakistan.
West Indies lost to Ireland by four wickets but beat Pakistan by 150 runs.
Gayle’s double hundred led West Indies to a 73-run win but his failure against Pakistan – he made just three – saw the Caribbean side plunge to a 257-run defeat to South Africa in Sydney.
West Indies face India in their fifth match at the WACA Ground on Friday.
Despite the Windies’ recent struggles, Lloyd held out hope for the Caribbean side especially in the fast bowling area, noting that the results would be seen soon.
“It’s quite obvious [the pace reserves have declined],” he said. “We’d love to have (Andy) Roberts, (Michael) Holding, (Curtly) Ambrose and (Courtney) Walsh but it doesn’t happen in any other country.
“We’ve had a little bit of a decline, but we have one or two young players coming through and you’ll hear about them in another year or so.”