|Player:||CH Gayle, FH Edwards|
|Event:||ICC World Twenty20 2009|
DateLine: 19th June 2009
West Indies captain Chris Gayle admitted the side would miss pacer Fidel Edwards if the bowler fails to make Friday's ICC World T20 semi-final.
Edwards will be given time till the last minute to prove his fitness to take on Sri Lanka at the Oval.
Edwards pulled out of Monday night's win over seconds before the toss after injuring himself in the warm-up, and it was later confirmed the problem was an irritation of a nerve root in his lower back.
He was not risked at Thursday's practice session at the Oval but the West Indies camp is retaining an optimistic outlook on his condition.
"He has been good for us throughout the tournament," said Gayle. "Fidel is the sort of bowler who can win you games by picking up wickets at crucial times, so he would be missed.
"He was missed in the game against England even though we won. He is a key factor for us and if he is not fit we are not sure who it would be if someone else comes in."
Gayle was the one who sat out in West Indies' previous defeat to Sri Lanka in the tournament. But despite his absence the team did fairly well.
The Sri Lankan top-order was amongst runs in that game. Sanath Jayasuriya blazed 81 and Tillakaratne Dilshan, the tournament's leading run-scorer after the Super Eights stage, added 74 in a score of 192 for five.
"They are a very good attacking team," said Gayle. "Whenever one of them doesn't click someone else steps up, which is good in a team.
"They have some quality players at the top of the order and any one of them can be dangerous."
The major concern for the West Indian batting line-up would be the three M’s of Sri Lanka. They will have to find out a way to counter the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis and Lasith Malinga.
“Whatever total they get on the board they seem to have the bowling attack to defend it," reflected Gayle, who might consider batting first as a disruption.
"They don't go for a lot of runs but we have to try to limit the dot balls out there."