Canberra: West Indies skipper Jason Holder has faith explosive opener Chris Gayle will break his run of low scores against Zimbabwe at the World Cup in Canberra on Tuesday.
Frustrations have been building outside and inside the West Indies camp over Gayle`s inability to tee off to a big score after a run of 20 one-day internationals without a century.
After he was out for four against Pakistan on Saturday, West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron apparently retweeted a demand for the outspoken opener to be given "a retirement package".
Cameron has since apologised and Gayle was a constant topic during Holder`s pre-match media conference at Canberra`s Manuka Oval on Monday.
However, the rookie skipper backed his senior teammate to recapture form and fuel the West Indies momentum following their thumping 150-run win over Pakistan.
"Well, every time I see Chris Gayle, I expect to see a positive Chris Gayle," Holder said.
"Although he hasn`t been getting runs, we still have a lot of confidence in him. I just hope that he can come tomorrow and just get us in and just take it as deep as possible for us.
"Any team would despise having Chris Gayle going guns blazing at the top. Obviously he hasn`t yet, but we still have full confidence in him.
"And it`s very good to see that he still hasn`t fired and yet we`re still getting 300 runs. I guess when his contribution comes, we`ll get somewhere close to 400 hopefully."
Fast bowler Holder at 23 has been made skipper of a notoriously fractious West Indies team and replaced Dwayne Bravo, who was captain when the team sensationally abandoned their tour of India last October over a contractural dispute with the WICB.
Former West Indies coach Ottis Gibson said that Holder, who has played just 28 ODIs, was not ready to captain the one-day side and that the captaincy was too much for him at this stage of his career.
"I have a decent relationship with Ottis Gibson. We got along pretty well," Holder said diplomatically.
"I respect him a lot, and I heard about his comments. I can say I`m ready. If I wasn`t ready, I probably wouldn`t accept the job. I think I can make a difference.
"It`s early days for me in captaincy in terms of this West Indies team, but I think over time once I can get my players to come together a lot more and just gel as one unit, I think we can be world beaters again."
But uppermost in Holder`s thoughts is beating Zimbabwe on Tuesday and pushing on towards the quarter-finals.
"I`m very confident going forward into this game. I think what is important is that we keep this momentum that we have going," he said.
"I think we still have room for improvement. Obviously we can cut a few of our boundary balls when we bowl.
"I think if we can get a few more contributions going deeper into the innings in terms of the top order, I think we can get close to 350 plus, and I think that is not beyond us because of our firepower in the middle and the end.
"I think we still have to improve, too, in our fielding. I think we could be a lot sharper in the field and give a better account of ourselves."