Gayle unlikely to get Test recall

The West Indies seem to have ruled out a direct approach to bring Chris Gayle back into the Test side. Gayle, the most flamboyant and effective West Indies batsman of his generation, is now available after his side were knocked out of the Indian Premier League.

Gayle has been at odds with the West Indies selectors since his sacking as team captain in 2010. Initially ruling himself out of international cricket, he later said he would play one day and Twenty20 matches. It seems likely that a diplomatic approach would persuade him to resume his Test career.

The present captain Darren Sammy seemed to indicate that was a remote possibility. "It's not me, it's up to the selectors what happens," he said. "He's a very experienced player and we've been having some difficulties at the top of the order. If he comes in, we will welcome him. But the last I heard he is available only for the Twenty20s and one-day internationals this summer. If he makes himself available, I guess the selectors will act accordingly."

Gayle’s batting has been among the highlights of this year’s IPL, and with that competition ended, the player might welcome the spotlight of a Test against England. The concern though is that his charismatic presence might undermine the impressive team spirit that Sammy has forged with his captaincy.

In cricket terms, West Indies presently look over-reliant on the steady but very slow scoring of Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Gayle is the polar opposite in terms of temperament and could give a greater balance to the batting line-up.

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