The man, who usually lights up Indian skies with huge sixes during the annual Indian Premier League, is very clear about the squad that can go all the way in the current ICC World Twenty20.

Chris Gayle backed India as a clear favourite for the title and said: “I think they (India) fancy themselves to actually win the World Cup, they have done it before and they have got the team to do it as well. They have got a lot of match-winners there in batting and bowling.”

Gayle, who along with his team-mates is gearing up for the West Indies’ opening match against Australia here on Saturday, said that the first game will be a crucial test.

“The main challenge is going to be the first match with the Aussies. If we get past Australia we should know where we are at.

“Even if that doesn't happen we have to make sure we qualify and that would make the game against Ireland vital for us.

“They have upset a lot of big teams so we have to be very mindful of that,” the former West Indies captain said.

Asked about his team’s prospects in the tournament, Gayle said: “The sub-continent teams are always challenging and the task against them will be difficult.

“Every team has a chance, but I know once we stick to our plans I don't see any reason why we shouldn't make it to the final and take it from there.”

And as for his 33rd birthday on Friday, Gayle laughed and in jest, said: “I am going to spend it with the West Indies women’s team.

“Have a quiet drink and have a laugh but I will look into celebrating after the win against Australia.”

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