Home advantage and the return of Jerome Taylor and Ramnaresh Sarwan have made West Indies a balanced side and a team to beat in the Twenty20 World Cup beginning in Guyana from Friday, captain Chris Gayle said on Wednesday.
Fast bowler Jerome Taylor and veteran batsman Sarwan are returning to the April 30-May 16 tournament following long spells out of the game due to injury.
"I am confident we will pull off the tournament. We have a balanced team and that is why I am so optimistic of having the prestigious cup stay here. With the return of Taylor and Sarwan, I think that will give us a big advantage as well," Gayle said in Georgetown.
Coupled with home advantage and crowd support, along with the momentum from the One-day series win against Zimbabwe, Gayle said he believed West Indies would be formidable opponents.
"Everyone knows (their) role. Dwayne Bravo, Jerome Taylor, Kieron Pollard, myself, Sarwan, Chanderpaul are players who have done well for West Indies, and should be taking up the responsibility again of making the Caribbean proud in this tournament," the 30-year-old Jamaican said.
"We have learnt a lot from our previous One-day series against Zimbabwe right here, and winning that series has also helped build the momentum up for this competition."
Gayle said that both the batting and bowling departments were very strong and he wanted each player to make an impact.
"We have varieties in the bowling department and I know Kemar Roach and Ravi Rampaul have delivered with precision in this version of the game, and with the support from the slower bowlers, I think we will bowl well," Gayle said.
"We will go out there and play hard cricket, just try to build a good team morale, let everyone get a feel and try to correct any mistakes. We just can't underestimate any team, it is Twenty20 cricket and a team can be dangerous on a given day," he said.
The home side open their campaign against Ireland at the National Stadium at Providence, Guyana on Friday.