Gayle: England favourites in Tests vs India (Lead)
New Delhi : West Indian power-hitter Chris Gayle on Friday said England are the favourites to win the ongoing five-match Test rubber but at the same time Team India are capable of pulling off a surprise, going by the way Virat Kohlis men are giving a tough fight in the first Test at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground.
"I believe England are the favourites because they are playing under familiar conditions, but at the same time I would say it's not that easy against this Indian team," Gayle said after being unveiled as brand ambassador of Adda52 Poker gaming site here on Friday.
On being probed if the current India side had in them to win the series, the Jamaican said: "Why not? Aren't they humans?"
Asked to rate India skipper Virat's fighting century in India's first innings, Gayle said it was one of the best of the 29-year-old who has 22 Test tons to his credit.
On Thursday, Virat scored a masterly 149, his first hundred in England to rescue the visitors from a precarious position.
"It's a great start to the series for India, Virat single-handedly carried the fight to the opposition. This must surely be one of his best Test innings," he said.
"A lot has been said about Virat's form in England but hopefully that knock will spur him and the team during the series," he added.
Gayle, who recently made his comeback to the national side, exuded confidence on his fitness and said he is ready for the 2019 World Cup.
"I will have to sit with the coaches and selectors and ask them about their plan. I am confident of playing the World Cup," Gayle said.
Gayle also revealed that he had no plans of hanging his boots, saying he would like to play at least another year.
"My plan is to play till the 2020 World T20 in Australia," he said.
Asked if the World Cup will lose its charm without the likes of retired South African AB de Villiers, Gayle replied in his flamboyant style: "Chris Gayle will be there. What are you worried for?"
Asked about the youngsters in the West Indies side who could become the x-factor in the 2019 World Cup, Gayle pinned his hopes on Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope.
"Evin Lewis and the former U19 captain Shimron Hetmyer are two valuable names who look good for the future of West Indies cricket with their explosive batting. Hetmyer is very talented and definitely one for the future.
"I would mention Shai Hope as well, he is still young but his two centuries against England also make him an exciting prospect for West Indies going into the 2019 World Cup," he said.