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Last Updated:  Thursday, 20 February, 2003, 10:24 GMT
Windies back opening pair
Chris Gayle prepares for a net session
Gayle was expected to be one of the stars of the tournament
West Indies are backing openers Chris Gayle and Wavell Hinds to come good despite a poor start to the World Cup.

The pair were in blistering one-day form on a tour to India late last year, with Gayle scoring 455 runs in seven games, including three centuries, and Hinds totalling 295.

But they have managed partnerships of four, 34 and 19 in the three World Cup games so far.

"We've been losing early wickets. It's important we get some decent starts," skipper Carl Hooper admitted.

"Chris and Wavell batted well for us in India, setting up some huge opening stands for us and scoring at five to seven runs per over.

"Obviously it's a bit of a worry now that they haven't gotten much together but I think we have to keep backing them. I know that soon or later they will run into good nick.

"The tracks are a little bit different here and they are probably struggling a bit to find their feet, but I think they will come good eventually."

West Indies are firm favourites to defeat Canada in their next game and will then take on Sri Lanka in a match which could decide whether they progress to the Super Six phase or not.

"The match against Sri Lanka is going to be the key game for us.

"We'll be in a must-win situation," said Hooper.

West Indies are considering a reshuffle of their batting order for the Sri Lanka match in an attempt to disrupt the rhythm of left-arm swing bowler Chaminda Vaas.

They went into their first three games with four left-handers at the top of the order, but Hooper or Ramnaresh Sarwan could move up.

Hooper, meanwhile, has urged his team to forget the no result against Bangladesh, which was caused by rain in Benoni.

"We can't let the dejection linger. We've got to get over this and look ahead."

Hooper stays calm
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