The West Indies arrived in Mumbai in the wee hours of Monday, sans any fanfare and a number of their star performers. The visitors hit the ground running on Wednesday with their first practice session on tour. Surveying their progress from the sidelines were an elite group of former legends from the Caribbean — manager Richie Richardson, bowling consultant Curtly Ambrose, chief selector Clive Lloyd and assistant coach Stuart Williams. Richardson and Williams spoke to the media about the West Indies’ preparation, their views on ODI captain Dwayne Bravo and how they plan to make it very difficult for India to bounce back from the disappointments of England.
On how West Indies haven’t won a series (Test or ODI) in India since 1984-85
Richardson: we have the calibre of players that can go out there and perform and beat anybody. We accept that we are not at the top of the rankings, but with the ability we have, if we can execute well, the guys are going to play confident and positive cricket.
On the Windies’ preparation
Richardson: We have arrived at a good time, and we have a few days to practice and get acclimatised. We have just come out of a successful series against Bangladesh and all of our players have been involved with cricket. Some are still playing (in Champions League T20). We feel we are in much better shape, much better prepared to take on the Indians.
On Dwayne Bravo as captain
Richardson: In the short time that he has been captain, he has done reasonably well. He is a very intelligent cricketer. He has lots of experience.
On the plus points from the five ODIs in conditions that will be different to the World Cup in Australia & New Zealand
Richardson: Confidence is one of the things that you can gain. Obviously we look at this do-or die series as preparation for the World Cup. I am sure the coaches and the selectors would be looking at a number of players. This is like a starting point for us to put things in place for the World Cup.
On Sunil Narine’s action being called suspect during the CLT20
Williams: We haven’t actually spoken to him as yet. Sunil obviously is a champion. He is a strong character. Obviously the captain is also playing for Chennai so, we haven’t sat down to speak about it as yet. We are still waiting for a couple of days to have a chat.
On India’s poor show in England
Richardson: When you lose, especially when you are a top team and you lose, you just can’t wait until the next series to really put things right. I just hope it (poor form) continues to be a problem for India. We know they are going to look to avenge what happened in England because they were heavily criticised. But we are up for the challenge and we also have a lot to prove.
On the pitches in India
Williams: The wickets here are similar to the ones in the Caribbean. This is early season in India, so we will hopefully get fresh wickets. We are looking forward to the challenge.