Mumbai: Swashbuckling West Indies opener Chris Gayle on Tuesday conceded that India would start as favourites in the World T20 semifinal showdown here on Thursday as the home side have “many match-winners” but warned that the Caribbeans would also be plotting for an upset win.
Talking to reporters after the West Indies team’s practice session at the Brabourne stadium here, Gayle said that his side will also not focus only on Virat Kohli, who has been in sublime form in the tournament, but on the Indian team as a whole.
“India have come back with three wins after being one down. They have the momentum, there is no doubt about that and a lot of confidence coming into the semifinal game as well. It is very difficult to pinpoint one particular player in the Indian team. It is a very good all-round team, good fielding team as well,” Gayle said.
“That’s why India are the favourites. It is always going to be difficult to beat them here. But like I said, West Indies are ready for an upset,” he added.
Kohli has single-handedly won two crucial matches for India — against Pakistan and Australia — and Gayle heaped praise on the star Indian batsman but said that the Caribbeans would also be wary on other home team players.
“No surprise there. I have said it over the years he (Virat) is going to be the world beater he is today. He has been fantastic right through the year. He is in good form and it is a good wicket (at Wankhede) as well, so anything is possible. We have to play to the situation accordingly, play within our strength and actually take it from there.
“We are not going to focus on only Virat, there are so many match-winners there and anyone of them can actually fire on any particular day. It is a huge team India, their batting line-up is superb. They have so many match-winners, like our team as well, we have a lot of match-winners too, it is not always going to be about me,” said Gayle.
Gayle, who scored a record-breaking hundred against England, said he would wish that Kohli does not fire in the semifinal match.
“Virat is the man that stands out at this point in time. Hopefully, he won’t get runs against us. I am hoping, please don’t fire, Virat. He can still get runs but for a losing cause. We’ll be happy with that as well,” Gayle said in a lighter vein.