West Indies‘ destructive opener Chris Gayle said while he wished a great farewell for legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar, his side will be out there to “spoil the fun and parade” when they take on India in the two-Test series next month.
“Sachin’s a legend and we wish him a great farewell and we want him to walk away happily, but not victorious,” said Gayle.
“That Test in Mumbai (Sachin’s 200th Test) will be fantastic. The atmosphere will be great as they always have been a lively crowd. Indian crowd always come out to support cricket and with Sachin, it’s going to be even bigger. The West Indies will put on a good show but we’re eyeing the series so we may be spoiling the fun and parade,” Gayle told ‘Cricinfo‘.
West Indies will play two Tests and three ODIs during their tour of India, commencing in Kolkata with first Test from November 6-10. The second Test, Tendulkar’s farewell match, will be played in Mumbai from November 14-18.
Gayle noted that the series against India will finally settle the question on where the West Indies stand in Tests.
West Indies are currently ranked sixth among Test-playing nations and Gayle said his team would be more than keen to move up the ICC rankings.
“The big occasion for West Indies is a chance to gain points to move to No. 5 on the ICC rankings.
“That’s our mission. I personally have never made a hundred versus India, so I will be looking to rectify that, given my IPL experience also. But you can’t discount their talent in players like Sachin [Tendulkar], MS Dhoni and so many more. A few of us are familiar with venues like Kolkata and Mumbai, which host the Tests, and these conditions and pitches usually stay the same,” said the Jamaican.
The Windies have not played a Test match for almost a year now and the team trained hard at a fitness and medical camp in Bridgetown before coming here to ensure players stay fit as they will be on the road for a long time.
Gayle said a good show in the series could well be the turning point in his career, considering India are a formidable opponents to beat at home.
“We want to start the first Test with a bang and we know what’s required to win in India. I hope this series will be a turning point in my career as I get back to the red-ball as opposed to the short-format white ball. India are looking to consolidate their Test spot [3rd position] in the rankings so it will be a very engaging contest,” he said.
“I’m really looking forward to the Tests because I haven’t played one in a while. It’s always tough in India, no matter the format, and this is crucial to test ourselves against top-five opposition. It will be difficult to beat India at home for sure,” Gayle signed off.