Fiery Finn issues Gayle warning ahead of Super Eights opener against West Indies
21:00 GMT, 25 September 2012
Upbeat: Finn is confident England can turn things around
England headed to the hills on Tuesday, where they pledged to go on the attack when they come face to face with Twenty20’s biggest gun.
The long bus ride from Colombo to the picturesque city of Kandy was followed by a declaration of intent for their opening Super Eights match against West Indies at nearby Pallekele on Thursday.
Chris Gayle will spearhead a West Indies line-up brimful of big-hitting batsmen but England believe they have the firepower to cut him down, as they did when they last met in a Twenty20 match at Trent Bridge last summer.
Steven Finn dismissed Gayle for two then
as England won by seven wickets, the sort of result which would take
them halfway to the semi-finals if they can repeat it on Thursday.
‘Gayle has an aura about him and it’s
exciting to come up against people like that,’ said Finn. ‘It will be a
challenge bowling at one of the best Twenty20 batsmen in the world but
it’s a challenge I’m looking forward to.’
England will approach that challenge by attempting to make early inroads into a West Indies line-up which also includes plenty of others capable of clearing the boundary, such as Kieron Pollard.
Dangerman: Gayle (left) will open the batting for West Indies
‘It’s going to be up to me to set the tone against Gayle,’ said Finn. ‘My job with the new ball is to put the opposition under pressure by taking early wickets because that stalls any momentum.’
There was a confident and relaxed mood about England on Tuesday, at odds with their inept display against India on Sunday.
They believe the switch to what is likely to be a pitch with more pace at Pallekele will suit them in a group which also includes New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
Finn was on good form despite enduring a tortuous road trip here.
Confident: England feel that the Pallekele pitch will suit them
‘Four-hour bus journey has made me feel like I have bowled 30 overs,’ he tweeted.
There was an immediate riposte from his erstwhile team-mate and current TV pundit Kevin Pietersen, who displayed his confidence that he is close to an England comeback by replying: ‘You went on a bus Findog You should have asked and I would have got you the heli we use for our transport. Next time…’
Pietersen has not spoken to many of the England team since his exile began nearly two months ago but taking the mickey is a start.