Port of Spain (Trinidad), Jun 4: Indian captain Suresh Raina on Jun 4 expressed relief that Chris Gayle would be missing at least the first three games of the present limited overs series against his team.
"To be honest yes (I'm relieved)," Raina remarked on the eve of the Twenty20 match which opens the six-week tour against the West Indies here on Jun 4.
Gayle took the recent IPL by storm. The West Indian was the highest scorer (608 runs) with a strike rate in excess of 183 for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Raina remarked there is enough for his boys to be motivated to do well in the present series.
"There is no short of motivation now that we have a reputation to defend, we are the world champions." Raina is personally looking to perform consistently which would help to exorcise his demons against short-pitched delivery and cement his place in the Test team.
"I am hitting the ball well and learning all the time in the company of Stephen Fleming, Gary Kirsten and now Duncan Fletcher." Incidentally, all the three were left-handers during their careers.
Indian coach Duncan Fletcher is excited by the Indian team's talent, which he had a chance to see first hand as a consultant to New Zealand side last winter.
He also realises the challenge confronting him, not the least because different approach would be required while dealing with seniors vis-a-vis juniors.