England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler said that their highly competitive series against West Indies was the ideal preparation as the world's No.1-ranked one-day international team aims to lift the ICC World Cup trophy for the first time at home.
Buttler launched a phenomenal assault on the home team in the fourth ODI in Grenada on Wednesday, biffing 13 fours and 12 sixes in a 77-ball 150.
It powered England to 418/6, but they were made to sweat for the win, after Chris Gayle matched Buttler stroke for stroke during his 162 off 97 balls.
"It was hectic," Buttler told Sky Sports. "I'm trying to catch my breath. It was an unbelievable game of cricket. I think as a side, being put under a huge amount of pressure in a game like that, we showed a huge amount of character to come through it.
"It's a great dress rehearsal, with lots of pressure. But it just goes to show, no matter who's favourite, on any given day there will be unbelievable games of cricket, and if Chris Gayle is in the opposition, you can lose those games. I've probably never seen anyone hit sixes as easy as he can. He's a legend of the game."
GAYLE RECONSIDERING RETIREMENT
Chris Gayle's golden run since making his comeback to the West Indies one-day side now has him reconsidering his decision to retire from the sport after the ICC World Cup 2019. In four matches since he came back, Gayle has 347 runs at a strike-rate of 120.06.
He breached personal landmarks, becoming the second man to smash 300 sixes in an ODI career, after Pakistan's Shahid Afridi, and the second West Indian to 10,000 career runs, after former captain Brian Lara.
"I've been playing a lot of T20 cricket, so it's always going to be a difficult coming back into 50 over cricket. But eventually the body gets accustomed to the 50-over format,” he said.