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West Indies coach hoping to have Gayle fit
Published on February 8, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

SYDNEY, Australia -- Big-hitting West Indies opener Chris Gayle will be given as much time as possible to prove his fitness for Friday’s One-Day International against Australia after suffering a side strain.

Australia also has an injury concern going into the SCG clash, with in-form batsman George Bailey suffering some hamstring tightness.

Western Australian captain Adam Voges was added to the squad as cover and pulled out of the final day of the Warriors’ Shield game against Queensland in Brisbane.

Both Gayle and Bailey will be given until the day to prove their fitness before Game four of the five-match series which Australia lead 3-0.

Gayle was hurt while bowling in Australia's innings during the West Indies' 39-run loss in Canberra on Wednesday.

While he still bowled five overs, he spent time off the ground and batted at Number 5 instead of opening. West Indies Head Coach Ottis Gibson said the team is hoping to have Gayle fit for the match.

“We want to make sure Chris is fit and able to play. We would love to have him fit for Sydney, but we want to make sure he’s good enough to play.

“We came here to compete and try and won the series. We are very aware we haven’t won an international match here in Australia since 1997 so we have two more opportunities to try and won. We got better as a team from the one which started in Perth. You can see we are trying really hard. We are getting close to winning,” Gibson said.

“In Perth we were way off the pace in the first game. The second opportunity was a chance to win and in Canberra we really got stuck in and Powell gave us a great start – he is showing alot composure.”

In Canberra Darren Bravo topscored with a career-best 86 off 96 balls on his 24th birthday and added a century-stand with his older brother Dwayne Bravo, who made a half-century. Kieran Powell his 47 off 49 balls at the top and Andre Russell blasted 43 off 31 balls at the end of the innings.

“Darren Bravo has shown his ability with the bat showed some good skills in the middle and Dwayne Bravo has been playing well for us for over a year now and we saw what Russell can do at the back-end. We showed a lot of character and we will take that with us in Sydney,” added Gibson, who recently inked a new three-year as Windies Had Coach.

Voges played the last of his 15 ODIs two years ago against England in Perth but team officials reported Bailey, who has scored 125 not out and 44 in his two innings in the series, was walking more freely on Thursday.

Coach Mickey Arthur was adamant Australia would not ease up now the series had been won. He viewed the two remaining matches as a chance to put a successful shine on a season, which has included a drawn five-match one-day series with Sri Lanka.

“It’s been a tough old summer for us in terms of our one-day cricket – we are a little bit topsy-turvy,” Arthur said. “We’ve got some good momentum now, so we’re certainly not going to take our foot off the pedal at all.”

Arthur was unimpressed with the actions of young all-rounder James Faulkner, who was fined 10 per cent of his match fee for yelling an obscenity at Gayle after bowling him in Canberra.

“I think he crossed the limit yesterday. It’s certainly something that we don't accept in our team. He’ll learn from it and move forward,” Arthur said.
 
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