West Indies captain Jason Holder has backed the returning Chris Gayle to make a big impact in the one-day international series against England starting this week.
Gayle has scored more than 9,000 runs, including 22 hundreds, in 269 ODIs at a strike rate of 85.11.
Holder welcomed his impending return to the ODI format by telling reporters at Old Trafford on Monday: “It’s obviously a huge boost. The calibre of player Chris is, you can expect really good things from him.”
“He showed some form in the T20 game and had some good form in our CPL (Caribbean Premier League) competition recently concluded,” the all-rounder added.
“I’m really looking forward to having him back. He seems up for the challenge, he seems upbeat and really happy to be back. I’m looking forward to good things from Chris.”
“We are professional athletes, we know what to expect here in English conditions. A few of the guys have played here before, a few played the T20 game coming into this one.”
The Barbados all-rounder added: “From all reports it was difficult in Durham with the wet outfield but it’s something we’ve grown to expect and you’ve just got to adapt and adjust to it.”
West Indies will need to win the upcoming series either 5-0 or 4-0 with a tie or a no-result if they are to gain direct entry into the 2019 World Cup in England.
A failure to do so would mean West Indies, the 1975 and 1979 World Cup winners, cannot overtake Sri Lanka, currently eighth in the ODI rankings.
Only the top seven sides, apart from hosts England, currently fourth, as of September 30 will qualify directly for the 50-over showpiece event in 2019.