West Indies target more success against India
The West Indies are hoping to build on the momentum they have gained from their triumph in the preceding One-day International (ODI) series, when they face India in the first Test of their four-match rubber, starting here on Friday at the Antigua Recreation Ground (ARG).
The West Indies rebounded from defeat in the first ODI which the two sides contested to win the last four ODIs on the trot.
It appears they have claimed a psychological boost ahead of the Tests, but their captain Brian Lara has advised caution.
Lara indicated that he would advise his teammates to refocus on the virtues of Tests to ensure that West Indies does well in the face of tough opposition.
On the other hand, India will want to quickly forget the ODI series that spiralled out of control, and this time justify the favourites’ tag that has been pinned upon them.
For both sides, the series that also features Tests at Gros Islet (June 10-14), Basseterre (June 22-26), and Kingston (June 30-July 4) is vital.
For the West Indies, rated at eight on the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test Rankings, they would want to achieve victory over the visitors to give proof that the ODI series triumph was no fluke, and inform the rest of the World that they should take careful notice, since they are well and truly on the rebound.
For India, they will want to re-focus on their main goal of the trip which is to achieve a Test series victory over the Calypso Kings for the first time in 35 years on Caribbean soil, and retain their third place on the ICC Test Rankings, signalling their status as an emerging giant in the World.
West Indies have formed the nucleus of their side from the majority of players that featured in the ODIs series against the Indians which means that opener Daren Ganga is the only new face the visitors will come across in the first Test.
The ARG pitch has become notorious for being a featherbed in recent times, but head curator Keith Frederick has promised that the pitch will be harder, have a much thicker coating of grass, and should favour the fast bowlers on both sides.
Source:The NewsMore on:Brian Lara, India in West Indies 2006, West Indies
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