West Indies captain Jason Holder have put concerns over fitness of Chris Gayle and Andre Russell to rest, saying the star players will fully recover from their niggles before the team’s second World Cup game against Australia on Thursday. Gayle scored a trademark fifty off just 33 balls as the West Indies secured a seven-wicket win over Pakistan in their World Cup opener at Trent Bridge on Friday. Three massive sixes gave took him to 40 in his career at the tournament, more than any other player, but also took its toll as he struggled with running between the wickets and hobbled towards the pavilion after his eventual dismissal.
But captain Jason Holder is confident the five-day rest between this win and the match with Australia will be enough. Russell, who turned the match with a barrage of short-pitched deliveries, taking two wickets from his 18 balls, also insists he will be okay despite seeming to aggravate a knee injury. “I’ve more than enough time to get my knee back to normal and get it settled,” he said.
All which is great news for Holder, who couldn’t have been happier with the way his team started their World Cup campaign. This is Gayle’s last international tournament but Nicholas Pooran gave a glimpse to the future with a 34 run contribution as the Windies knocked off Pakistan’s 105 runs in 13.4 overs. Pooran faced just 19 balls for his score and unleashed six boundaries, including two massive sixes.