'He's strong, he should be in the squad' - Chris Gayle bats for Shamar Joseph's inclusion in West Indies' T20 WC squad

'We already have Alzarri Joseph, so to have the two Josephs there will be great", said Gayle.

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Shamar-Joseph. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former West Indian southpaw Chris Gayle has urged the selection committee to consider pace sensation Shamar Joseph for the squad to feature in the T20 World Cup 2024, which will be played in the USA and the West Indies from June 1 to June 29.

Notably, the 24-year-old surprised one and all with his magnificent displays which were filled with grit and unwavering determination in his debut Test series in Australia, being the find of the series by picking up 13 wickets in the two Tests he was a part of, chipping in with some valuable runs with the bat as well. Despite bowling with a broken toe, Joseph delivered an exceptional display in Brisbane, producing figures of 7-68, which played a major role in West Indies' first Test victory in Australia in 27 years, which marked Joseph's rise to prominence in an astronomical fashion. 

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Despite the youngster having sparse experience in domestic T20 matches, having played only two games till now, Gayle believes that Joseph's thunderous bowling competence would play a pivotal role in West Indies' T20 World Cup campaign. He also mentioned Joseph complementing Alzarri Joseph to form a lethal pace battery, stating that having Shamar available as a backup would be invaluable in the rare event of an injury. He added that it would present a welcome selection dilemma for the selectors.

"He's strong, he should be in the squad. We already have Alzarri Joseph, so to have the two Josephs there will be great. Both might not play at the same time , but we would need him in this squad just in case anybody picks up an injury. It's a good headache to have for the selectors," Gayle who embarked the T20 World Cup trophy tour in New York," said Gayle as quoted by TOI.

Gayle seemed pleased with the "all-round" look of the Windies squad, under the captaincy of Rovman Powell. He also affirmed that the likes of all-rounders Andre Russell and Jason Holder in the group along with batter Nicholas Pooran would have to contribute significantly in order for the Men in Maroon to taste success in the 20-over World Cup.

"Andre Russell back in the squad, there's some more experience in the squad in Jason Holder and Nicholas Pooran. Those guys will have a big part to play for West Indies to lift the trophy," Gayle added.

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You watch Test cricket these days, it's played a bit faster than a couple of years back: Gayle

Gayle also mentioned the profound impact that the T20 format had on ODIs and the longest format of the game, indicating the shift in the mindset of batters, who thanks to the 20-over format, have shown more assertiveness with the bat, piling up runs as well as chasing large targets with relative ease in todays' day-and-age.

"You watch Test cricket these days, it's played a bit faster than a couple of years back. Teams scoring 300 within a day with ease, that's because of T20 cricket. It's the same in 50-overs cricket. Teams can score and chase down 400 as well. Everything has changed in the game, thanks to T20 cricket," Gayle concluded.

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