“It will be a new role for Sammy,” said Gayle before he departed from Barbados with the first of the team on Thursday.
He added: “He is the one who will have to take charge and lead from the front and we all know he is capable. We are all there to try and guide and help him.”
Gayle hailed the pre-tour camp, and felt it helped him to get his mind and body in shape for the rigorous trip to Sri Lanka.
The second half of the West Indies team left on Friday for the tour, which includes three Tests, five One-Day Internationals, and one Twenty 20 International.