Chris Gayle is just another player, remarks Jayawardene

Mahela Jayawardene

He is the most talked about player ahead of the World Twenty20 final but for Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene, the explosive Chris Gayle is "just another player in a very good West Indies team".

"We never went after individual players. We have tried to control things the way we can control. He (Gayle) is just another player in a very good West Indies team. We have to have our focus on the entire team," Jayawardene replied instantly when questioned on how he is thinking of tackling the Gayle threat.

For Jayawardene, number crunching is not his calling as he believes that performing on the day is important.

"Records and numbers are all there but what's important is how you perform and need to react to situations on the day."

Gayle, who has been aggressively tweeting before every West Indies match had commented, "Sorry Sri Lanka, but we will win the final" after the semifinal win over Australia. The Lankan skipper was certainly not amused.

"When somebody says something like that, is the pressure on us or on him?" he countered.

"I don't know how to react to that. Probably the pressure is on him when he has said something like that."

Having lost all the previous three finals that he has been a part of, Jayawardene doesn't want to think too far ahead of himself.

"It always goes back to that. Going into finals is fantastic and we don't take it as a negative thing," said Jayawardene.

"We don't think too far ahead of ourselves. We don't want to go back in history and see how to overcome this. We'll try and back our ability in what we've done in this tournament. Other then that, I don't know how you can approach a final," Jayawardene said.

A gentleman that he is, Jayawardene was all praise for the West Indies team for having made it to the finals.

... contd.

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