Sydney: Former West Indies captain Carl Hooper has claimed explosive opening batsman Chris Gayle along with all rounder Dwayne Smith and Sunil Narine’s mystery spin bowling can help them topple Australia in their Twenty20 World Cup match on Saturday in Sri Lanka.
Hooper also claimed the Windies are potent enough to claim their first major tournament win in this year’s T20 World Cup since winning the Champions Trophy in 2004 under legendary Brian Lara.
“Gayle and Smith can dismantle any attack and set the game up for you. If we do well in the T20 it will be through batting - if Gayle fires we can beat any side,” a website quoted Hooper, as saying.
“We have found Sunil Narine, he is young, there`s great wraps on him. Fidel Edwards and Kemar Roach are guys who can bowl good pace,” he added.
“A while ago I would have said we had no chance of beating Australia but I honestly feel we turned the corner in the past couple of years. I`ve seen the guys working hard. I think you will see the green shoots springing out,” he said.
All-rounder Shane Watson annihilated Ireland in a stunning display with 51 in 30 balls and 3/26 in Colombo on Wednesday night, but Hooper insists it`s 41-year-old wrist spinner Brad Hogg who poses a greater menace.
Hooper said: “Picking quality tweakers is hard in the T20 cauldron whether it`s Narine`s off-spin or Hogg`s wrist spin. Warner and Watson up front can cause trouble and Pat Cummins will be a great bowler but I have my eye on Brad Hogg, a key through those middle overs.”
“Hogg`s wrong`uns have caused a lot of trouble since he returned to the Australian side,” he concluded.