Windies confident Gayle will be fit for NZ game

2015 World Cup

West Indies bowling coach Curtly Ambrose says he is confident that star batsman Chris Gayle will be fit for their World Cup quarter-final match against tournament co-hosts New Zealand.

Opening batsman Gayle, who missed the Windies' last group match against the UAE, is struggling with a back injury and is in doubt for the knockout clash in Wellington on Saturday.

The burly left handed batsman is seen as a vital player if the men from the Caribbean want to topple the Black Caps who have won their past eight ODI's.

Ambrose said: "We expect him to play on Saturday. It's a big game and we know what kind of player he is and as long as he can go out there and start and bat for us, which is the most important thing and get us a good start.

"But we just have to wait on Saturday to see how he feels but I know the kind of player that he is and the kind of man that he is and knowing the importance of this game I believe he is going to play."

Even the though the West Indies have disappointed many people by just scraping through the group stages, Ambrose feels the knock-out rounds is a different ball game.

He said: "We have completed our first goal and that was to make the knock-out stages even though a lot of people didn't expect us to reach this far. Preparation has been going very well at the moment."