Gayle to decide if he is to play

CAGEY West Indies coach Dave Williams has refused to guarantee inspirational captain Chris Gayle will play the first Test against Australia starting at the Gabba tomorrow.

The explosive batsman and the tourists’ most experienced and feared campaigner, Gayle is on his way back to Brisbane following a rushed trip home last week to be with his mother who fell ill.

Unfortunately for the West Indies, Gayle has spent more time in the air than in the nets preparing for the Test and will be jet-lagged.

When he touches down in Brisbane he will have travelled almost 50,000 kilometres in the past 13 days.

“We’re not sure he’s going to play, but he should be alright,” said Williams after the tourists practised yesterday.

“We have to wait and see.

“It’s going to be very important for us to have him there, he’s a key member of the side.

“It’s up him how he feels when he gets here, how he feels on the morning of the game.”

Williams said Gayle’s jet-lag would not stop the Windies from batting if they won the toss and felt that was the best option.

“If we field, it would give him more time to recuperate,” he said.

“Batting is his main skill and we want him to be good in the batting department. But we’re not going to base a decision on one guy.

“It’s about the team, so when we get to the Gabba on the morning of the Test and we feel it’s feasible for us to bat, so be it.”

Williams, who replaced sacked Australian John Dyson as coach before the tour, was non-committal on whether towering spinner Sulieman Benn would make up the tourists’ bowling attack on a Gabba wicket which has influenced Australian to pick tweaker Nathan Hauritz.

Better known in the one-day arena, the lanky Benn would enjoy the bounce he could extract from the Gabba wicket.



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