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India hopes to ride out stormy Gayle

INDIA hopes to succeed where others have failed recently by targeting West Indies captain and main batting threat Chris Gayle in today's Twenty20 World Cup second round clash.

Gayle is set to play in the game at Lord's after missing West Indies' defeat to Sri Lanka on Wednesday with a knee injury.

"It will be good to take his wicket early," Zaheer Khan told reporters. "He is definitely a match winner. If we can get him out early it will be a great help for Team India."

Left-handed opener Gayle cracked 88 from just 50 balls, including six sixes, against Australia on Saturday, which set up a crushing seven-wicket win with 4.1 overs left. It was the kind of destructive form that persuaded Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders to pay US$800,000 for his services.

Gayle is used to teams focusing their attention on him. While he has faith in his own game, he believes his teammates can exploit bowling that is concentrated mainly on "Gayle-proofing."

"There is a lot of technology used now to work out ways to keep you quiet or get you out, so as a batsman you have to adapt to the situation quickly," Gayle said.

"Whatever they come at you with, you have to be ready and prepared mentally and go out there and get the job done.

"But it's not just about me," the 29-year-old added. "They do have to get through our other batters as well. Maybe they focus on me but if they concentrate on me too much other guys can chip in."

Gayle has cultivated a reputation as one of the most powerful batsman in cricket. He scored the first hundred in Twenty20 internationals at the 2007 World Cup.

"He's very intimidating," Australia allrounder David Hussey said. "He can hit the ball out of the park as you saw six times against us. He's a great player and probably one of the world's best Twenty20 players."

India will be wary of a returning player who prides himself on his power to clear the ropes.

"I do a lot of work behind closed doors, I go the gym and pump a few irons and try to get the body strengthened up and ready for games," Gayle said. "It's not just about cricket skills, there is strengthening work done as well."


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