'I can score century in any conditions'

'I can score century in any conditions'

West Indies’ Chris Gayle on Monday sounded out a warning to other teams ahead of the World Twenty20 by declaring that he can score a hundred irrespective of the conditions.

However, seconds after making the statement, the stylish left-hander contradicted himself by saying that conditions do play a role in a batsman’s performance. “I am batsman, capable of scoring a century on any conditions and on any wicket in the world. I just want to give the team that kind of a start. It will be nice to get another hundred,” Gayle said with an air of confidence during an interaction here on Monday.

“However it also depends on the conditions as well and how the wicket is playing,” he said as the West Indies’ prepare for their opening warm-up game against England on Wednesday. Asked about the tremendous pressure on him to perform every time he goes out to bat, the Jamaican dasher said it indeed was a challenge to live up to the expectations.

“It creates a lot of pressure as expectations are rising. When you actually set a trend, then people expect you to come good at all times. You have fans worldwide who want me to do well. That’s what they pay for and want to see. But it’s not going to happen all the time but when I do get a chance I try to entertain people as much as possible,” he said.

Being the defending champions has its own set of pressures. “We are here to retain the title and that’s not going to be easy but we are ready for it and we are ready for the challenges. Our first priority is to make it to the last four, it’s a tough group. Everybody is looking to win the tournament.”  The superstar of T20 cricket didn’t want to attach the ‘favourites tag’ to any team.

“Honestly, if you look at the teams almost everybody has a chance on paper. It’s difficult to pinpoint. It’s like six teams can win it. It’s not like there are two teams you can single out. It’s all about what’s going to happen on a particular day. Who plays better cricket on a particular day. Every team’s even stevens. This game can change quickly, it’s a tricky, game.”

Gayle agreed that missing Kieron Pollard will be a big factor. “We will definitely miss Kieron Pollard. He has done wonders for us. It’s not just with his batting but his bowling as well. It is a big loss. But we are still confident and backing each other to get the job done. We have 12 guys actually here who have played in the last World Cup so that’s a big plus for us.”

“It’s still bat hitting the ball. I mean players love to try out something all the time. As an individual player, you want to constantly improve. The batsman tries to manufacture a shot. The bowler tries to find a new variation.”

Pak beat KiwisPakistan beat New Zealand by six wickets in World Twenty20 warm-up game at the Sher-E-Bangla Stadium at Mirpur on Monday.

Brief scores: New Zealand: 145/9 in 20 overs (Brendon McCullum 59 n.o.; Mohammad Talha 2-22, Umar Gul 3-16) lt to Pakistan: 149/4 in 19.5 overs (Kamran Akmal 52, Mohammad Hafeez 55; Nathan McCullum 2-21).