Colombo: Talismanic opener Chris Gayle has backed the West Indies to reach the final of the World Twenty20 Championship beginning on Sep 18.
The big-hitting left-hander, the hottest commodity in World T20 cricket, said he believed the Caribbean side could improve on their showing at the 2009 edition of the tournament in England when they reached the final four.
"When you look at our team you can say we are well balanced. In these tournaments the best we achieved was the semi-finals in England back in 2009," the Jamaican said on Wednesday.
"We didn't do so well when it was played at home back in 2010, so we want to get it together this time around. Once we stick to what we know, I don't see any reason why we can't go all the way."
With Gayle and several other international T20 stars, the West Indies are widely seen as one of the favourites in the September 18-October 7 tournament.
Off-spinner Sunil Narine along with all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard are all expected to put their immense talent in the game's shortest version, on show for the Windies.
The Caribbean side play their first official warm-up against the hosts Thursday. Gayle said it was important for the team to start well.
"We are away from home and we have to adapt to the conditions as quickly as possible. We want to make a solid start and look to put the other teams under some pressure," Gayle said.
"I'm really looking forward to it. There are a lot of competitive teams here. Every team has a chance to win ... there's not going to be any walkovers. No one is going to take anyone for granted and we have to be at our best at all times.
"We want to get off to a good start and also look to be there at the end when the semi-finals and finals are played."
The West Indies have been drawn in Group B alongside Australia and Ireland. Both first round matches will be at the Premadasa Stadium.
The West Indies open against the Aussies Sep 22 before taking on the Irish two days later.