Chris Gayle: Double hundred was 'stuff of champions' - Viv Richards

Sir Vivian Richards West Indies
Sir Viv Richards says the West Indies' talent is 'potent'

Chris Gayle's double century against Zimbabwe was "the stuff champions are made of", says former West Indies captain Sir Viv Richards.

The Jamaican opener scored 215 against Zimbabwe on Tuesday - the first double-ton in World Cup history and only the fourth in one-day internationals.

Since being stunned by Ireland in their opening match, West Indies have won easily against Pakistan and Zimbabwe.

"Their response and the talent in the team, it's potent," Richards added.

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Tuesday's win lifted the West Indies to second place in Group B, albeit having played two games more than third-placed Ireland and one more than South Africa in fourth.

Ireland play UAE on Wednesday, starting at 03:30 GMT, while West Indies' next game is against South Africa on Friday.

Richards believes Gayle's knock has "lifted the spirits" of the team and relieved pressure on young captain Jason Holder.

But he added that more consistency was needed for the team to progress to the final stages of the tournament.

"It was a phenomenal innings. Especially the way West Indies batted against the so-called minnows [Ireland]," he said. "It's the stuff champions are made of.

"But what the fans demand is to see this on a more consistent basis. You need that leadership where the batsmen are concerned."

Antiguan Richards compiled two of the most-highly regarded ODI innings, both against England: a match-winning 138 not out in the 1979 World Cup final; and a brutal then-world-record 189 not out at Old Trafford in 1984.

Asked how Gayle's effort compared with his own, Sir Viv said: "In the circumstances it would be ranked up there. When you make 200, it's got to be better, so I would certainly put it in that category."

Sir Vivian Richards West Indies
Sir Vivian Richards cuts loose on the way to 138 not out in the 1979 World Cup final against England

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