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Lara fit for England ODI

April 24, 2004 12:55 IST

West Indies captain Brian Lara said on Friday he would be fit to play in Saturday's second One-Day International against England.

Lara, who dislocated the little finger on his right hand in the first Test six weeks ago, was advised to rest for 10 days after his record innings of 400 not out in the final Test in Antigua.

He was ruled out of the first one-day game in Guyana last Sunday but said on Friday he felt able to take his place for this weekend's back-to-back games in Trinidad.

"I'm not at the point where I feel totally comfortable," Lara said. "But I think it's important to get out there to play, even if it's only 75 per cent."

"Batting is not really the problem, I have always said that fielding for 50 overs is more of a problem. It (the finger) has improved a lot and we still have almost 24 hours for it to improve more."

Since his record innings in Antigua, Lara has been showered with accolades as he was 10 years ago when he broke Sir Garfield Sobers's then record of 365 with 375 against England on the same ground.

"I've tried to curb it a little," Lara said. "I knew there'd be a bit of a frenzy in the country with the people wanting to show their celebrations.

"You have to give them that opportunity but I have told everyone that my focus is on cricket. I feel fresh and ready."

HUGE LIFT

West Indies coach Gus Logie said Lara's return has given the side a huge lift.

"After an individual scores 400 runs in a Test match, I don't think anyone needs more motivation than that," Logie said.

England captain Michael Vaughan acknowledged the importance of the return of his West Indies counterpart.

"It's going to be a great match tomorrow with Brian Lara coming back after his 400 on his home ground," Vaughan said.

"They (West Indies) will get a huge lift. He's world class, he's on his home ground and we will have to be at our very best in the field."

"It's not just about Brian Lara. There's Chris Gayle, (Ramnaresh) Sarwan, (Shivnarine) Chanderpaul -- he showed it in Guyana. They have some very attacking batsmen."

After a five-day break following the first One-Day International, the two sides now have a tough schedule of six games in 12 days, leaving some squad rotation inevitable.

"Back-to-back internationals are hard on everyone. It's certainly the first time I have ever played back-to-back one-day games but the bowlers are the biggest concern," Vaughan said.

"As players we realise the problems the boards have in trying to sell out the games and make their money."

Vaughan would not be drawn on team selection for Saturday's game, but James Anderson, who was omitted from the game in Guyana after playing no part in the four Tests, will come into consideration.

"Jimmy Anderson not playing in Guyana did raise a few eyebrows," Vaughan admitted. "He's a huge part of the squad and has huge potential.

"We'll pick a team that we think can win, but he'll come into consideration for this game."

Teams (from):

West Indies - Brian Lara (captain), Ramnaresh Sarwan, Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ricardo Powell, Dwayne Smith, Sylvester Joseph, Ridley Jacobs, Dwayne Bravo, Mervyn Dillon, Ravi Rampaul, Corey Collymore

England - Michael Vaughan (captain), James Anderson, Gareth Batty, Ian Blackwell, Rikki Clarke, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Ashley Giles, Darren Gough, Stephen Harmison, James Kirtley, Anthony McGrath, Chris Read, Andrew Strauss, Marcus Trescothick.

Source:
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