Out of form Gayle a threat, says Aussies

JUSTIN CHADWICK
Last updated 19:20 30/01/2013
Chris Gayle
Getty Images
BELOW HIS BEST: Chris Gayle is clean bowled.

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Australia will be aiming to add to the pain of Chris Gayle's dismal summer during the upcoming five-match one-day series against the West Indies, starting on Friday at the WACA Ground.

Gayle endured a nightmare T20 Big Bash campaign for the winless Sydney Thunder, scoring just 72 runs at an average of 12 over his first six innings before cracking 65 in the final game.

Despite Gayle's poor return in the Big Bash, Australia haven't been lulled into a false sense of security, with wicketkeeper Matthew Wade and paceman Mitchell Johnson labelling the hard-hitting left-hander as one of the West Indies' biggest threats.

"He's dangerous wherever you bowl to him. He's shown over a long period of time he can take any attack down," Wade said of Gayle, who has failed to pass 35 in his past eight ODIs.

"Every time you play against Chris Gayle, you're hoping to get him out early.

"It would be nice if we could do the same over these next five one-dayers.

"But he'll be looking to go pretty hard at us I would have thought. We've just got to execute our plans."

After struggling against Sri Lanka this summer, Australia are desperate to record a comprehensive series win over the West Indies.

Sri Lanka drew the one-day series 2-2, before beating Australia in both T20 encounters.

"We need to go out there and really dominate the West Indies," Johnson said.

"We want to keep on top of these guys and try and win this series well."

Despite boasting some of the biggest hitters in world cricket, the West Indies remain a hit-or-miss prospect.

The West Indies won the T20 World Cup in October last year, but more recently slumped to a 3-2 series loss to Bangladesh in the 50-over format.

"They're really dangerous. They've got power hitters," Wade said of a side featuring the likes of Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo.

"They hit a lot more sixes than probably any other team."

Australia skipper Michael Clarke, who missed the final ODI against Sri Lanka due to an ankle injury, batted in the WACA nets on Wednesday and is almost certain to play on Friday.

Fit-again paceman James Pattinson was flown to Perth to train with the national side, but won't feature in the first two one-dayers.

Wade said it was good to see Pattinson in full flight again, albeit only in the nets.

"He likes the WACA nets, so he'll be testing our batters out, no doubt about it," Wade said.

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- AAP

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