Gayle sure he'll be a force in showdown against India

Danger men Virat Kohli (above) of India, batting in the nets during training, and West Indies' Chris Gayle are likely to be their respective sides' key men in the semi-final clash in Mumbai today.
Danger men Virat Kohli (above) of India, batting in the nets during training, and West Indies' Chris Gayle are likely to be their respective sides' key men in the semi-final clash in Mumbai today. PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Danger men Virat Kohli of India, batting in the nets during training, and West Indies' Chris Gayle (above) are likely to be their respective sides' key men in the semi-final clash in Mumbai today.
Danger men Virat Kohli of India, batting in the nets during training, and West Indies' Chris Gayle (above) are likely to be their respective sides' key men in the semi-final clash in Mumbai today. PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MUMBAI • Chris Gayle is determined to grab the World Twenty20 limelight back from in-form Virat Kohli, when the West Indies and India clash in a much-anticipated semi-final in Mumbai today.

The destructive opener smashed an unbeaten century, which included 11 sixes, in the West Indies' opening win against England but has only batted once since, making just four.

Kohli has been the star of the tournament so far, expertly guiding India through the group stage with a half-century against Pakistan and 82 not out in a crunch win over Australia.

With the flat wicket at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium a dream for batsmen, the last-four showdown pitting the host nation against the 2012 champions is set to be a battle of the big hitters.

"I am looking to show what Chris Gayle is," Gayle warned ominously.

"I have only batted twice but this (semi-final) is a perfect opportunity to actually start the tournament and try and pick up where I left off, get a big one for the team and put them in a winning position," he added on Tuesday.

The 36-year-old described Kohli, who is the top run-scorer left in the tournament with 184, as a "world beater" but insisted neither he nor the West Indies were concerned about individual players.

"Chris Gayle will always be positive. It does not matter which bowler is bowling against Chris Gayle," he said.

"Chris Gayle would attack. That's the nature of T20 cricket. And that's the nature of Chris Gayle.

"No names, just cricket ball, beat it as hard as possible," he added.

India are looking to take another step in their quest to become the first team to win the World T20 twice, after their triumph in the inaugural 2007 edition, and the first to triumph on home soil.

They are also bidding to give inspirational 34-year-old captain M.S. Dhoni - who is thought to be close to announcing his retirement - the chance to go out on a high.

India were stunned by New Zealand in their first match but picked up three straight wins to qualify second from Group Two.

Gayle believes India have the momentum but warned that "anything was possible". He said: "India are the favourites. It is always going to be difficult to beat them here. But the West Indies are ready for an upset."

In the women's T20, Australia beat previously unbeaten England by five runs to enter their fourth straight final.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2016, with the headline 'Gayle sure he'll be a force in showdown against India'. Print Edition | Subscribe