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It's important to win our last game before World Cup: Lara
January 30, 2007 18:29 IST
Describing his team as highly 'unpredictable', skipper Brian Lara on Tuesday said the West Indies had to learn to handle crunch situations to achieve consistency and make an impact in the World Cup.
Lara said the fourth one-dayer on Wednesday was the last game for his team before the World Cup and it was important to win the match to maintain a psychological edge over the Indians.
"It's very pertinent moving forward. It's our last international game before the opening match in the World Cup against Pakistan. It's important for us to win the game tomorrow and keep the psychological edge over India," Lara said on the eve of the final one-dayer against India in Vadodara.
"We as players wanted this series very badly... playing against one of the top international sides in their backyard. We wish we had some more cricket to play before the World Cup starts.
"I expect them to go out tomorrow and win the game to square the series 2-2. We want to go home with that score though ideally I would have liked to have come here with a 2-1 scoreline in our favour," he added.
Lara, who is set to play his fifth World Cup soon, conceded that his side was an unpredictable one and needed to get its act together before the World Cup.
"We are an unpredictable side. We win either by a big margin or lose by a big margin. What I am pleased about the Chennai game (which West Indies won by three wickets to reduce India's lead to 1-2) is that we fought back well after India were in total charge in the first 30 overs," he said.
"In that sort of situation the West Indies usually lost, but before the match we had a team meeting and I told the boys that though India had won the first two matches, we had given them a fight. I told them we need to clean up our act a bit and we would win. I am very happy with the way we came back in Chennai and won," Lara said.
The West Indian captain said, like world champions Australia, more players should come forward and take the responsibility of winning matches for his team.
"We don't want to depend on a few match-winners all the time, like Christopher Gayle and (Shivnaraine) Chanderpaul. We want a (Marlon) Samuels to come to the fore, a Dwayne Bravo or a Dwayne Smith to do so.
"As a team, we want to create many more match-winners. You have to look at Australia, anyone on any day can step up and be the man-of-the-match," Lara said.
He said West Indies were confident about their abilities and could compete against any top international side.
"We have got the ingredients. We have done well in the Champions Trophy. We are quietly confident of our capability," he said.
Lara said the series had been very exciting and his team would not like to concede the last match tamely.
"The series has been very exciting and well-contested. The spectators must have got what they wanted. We don't want to leave here 3-1. We have enjoyed the series. Winning this match tomorrow is very important for us," he said.
Lara, however, said that because of some injury worries it would be difficult for him to choose the team for tomorrow's game.
"Samuels has hurt his left index finger in the match at Chennai and is going for a precautionary x-ray while Bravo is getting treated for his injured left shoulder.
"I cannot say we have got 14 fit players but I have told them that even if they are 75 per cent they should play tomorrow as we have a big gap after this series before the next international assignment (World Cup)," he said.
On Sachin Tendulkar's role in the middle order of the Indian batting line-up, Lara said: "I am not his captain and neither is he in my team. I don't want to comment on it. It's a critical time in world cricket and I am sure both (Greg) Chappell and (Rahul) Dravid would sort it out with Tendulkar."
West Indies in India 2007: The Complete Coverage
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