T20 is perfect for me says Gayle
West Indian opener Chris Gayle, one of the great disappointments of the World Cup in the Caribbean, knows he has the perfect chance to silence his critics at the inaugural Twenty20 championships.
The famously laid-back Gayle came second in a "Top of the Flops" poll when the West Indies played host to the premier ODI event in March and April, but the shortest form of the game appears tailor-made to his bludgeoning style.
"Yes, it's perfectly suited to me. I am sure everyone will enjoy it," Gayle told reporters in Johannesburg.
The pressure of being hosts was one of the reasons attributed for the West Indies poor showing on home soil in the ODI World Cup but Gayle said new skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan's team was free of expectations this time round.
"The feeling is good. All the guys are feeling well," he said. "To be honest there's no pressure at all (from back home). There haven't been a lot of people saying much about it."
Even the retirement of the legendary Brian Lara did not faze Gayle, who said: "Life always goes on."
Despite his reputation as something of a rebel, Gayle was handed the captaincy for the recent one-day series against England which resulted in victory for the Windies.
He also captained the team for a couple of Twenty20 internationals against England, winning one and losing the second.
"The experience was good", said Gayle who top-scored in the second international with 61 off only 37 balls.
His fellow opener Shivnerine Chanderpaul, in oustanding form during the English summer, said the team were not just here to make up the numbers.
"It's a different game, it's a faster pace, you have to find a way to score out there," said Chanderpaul whose attacking approach to one-day cricket is in stark contrast to his crab-like reputation in Test matches.
Chanderpaul was also confident that the team would not feel the loss of Lara unduly and predicted they would restore their credibility.
"We will get back on top," said the 33-year-old Guyanan.
After opening the tournament with a match against South Africa at the Wanderers ground in Johannesburg on September 11, the West Indies are due to take on their other first round rivals Bangladesh on September 13.