Shastri tells Gayle: 'Bring it on!'


India team director Ravi Shastri insists his side are ready to take on West Indies opener Chris Gayle in Thursday's World Twenty20 semi-final in Mumbai.

After coming through a must-win clash against Australia thanks to a sensational innings from Virat Kohli, the tournament hosts will face the Windies for the right to play England in Sunday's final.

Gayle looms as the Windies' chief threat and will be eager to make an impact after being hampered by a minor hamstring problem following his match-winning century against England at the start of the Super 10 phase.

On Wednesday, the powerful left-hander said: "It doesn't matter which bowler is bowling against Chris Gayle. Chris Gayle is looking to attack. That's the nature of T20 cricket and that's the nature of Chris Gayle."

Yet a smiling Shastri offered a confident response when asked for his reaction to Gayle's comments.

"Bring it on," said Shastri. "All our bowlers will target him!"

Shastri called on India to deliver their "A-game" on Thursday, adding: "You can't depend on one or two players, you need six or seven players to step up to the plate.

"It's not happened really in this tournament so far, let's hope tomorrow is the start."



Victories over England, Sri Lanka and South Africa meant the Windies were already assured of a place in the last four prior to their final Super 10 match against Afghanistan.

A surprise defeat to the Associate nation followed, but the 2012 World T20 champions can be expected to produce a much-improved performance with a place in the final on the line.



Windies skipper Darren Sammy believes his side were shown a "lack of respect" in the lead-up to the tournament.

"We have a number of guys in their thirties, we came into the tournament not playing a T20 in the calendar year, a lot was against us. That brought the team closer together," said Sammy.

"We think it is us against the world, that's how we've gone out and played and there is no bigger day to express that [than Thursday]."



Having fielded an unchanged team throughout the Super 10 phase, India will be forced to make at least one alteration after Yuvraj Singh was ruled out of the remainder of the tournament due to the ankle injury he sustained against Australia.

Asked who is likely to start with Yuvraj absent, Shastri said: "We've not decided. Manish [Pandey] has just joined the party. We'll take a good look at everything in the nets and then see what will be our best options."

The Windies have also lost a player to injury, Lendl Simmons taking Andre Fletcher's place in the squad.



- This will be the fifth Twenty20 international meeting between India and West Indies, with both teams boasting two wins so far.

- India have won 10 of their last 11 T20 matches, with seven of those victories coming when chasing.

- Kohli averages 55.4 in international T20s, the only player to bat in 15-plus innings and average over 40.