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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Reuters > Report


Windies have recovered from Indian battering: Lara

Richard Sydenham | March 13, 2007 11:22 IST

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West Indies skipper Brian Lara said his team had recovered from the shattering pre-tournament defeat to India before Tuesday's World Cup opener against Pakistan in Group D.

India beat West Indies by nine wickets in their final warm-up game on Friday at Trelawny, Jamaica, after West Indies were bowled out for 85 when batting first.

Lara said the loss may even have done them a favour although the defeat could have permanently dented the team's confidence for the showpiece event.

"It definitely gave us a jolt and it was something we needed maybe before such a big tournament," Lara told reporters on Monday.

'NOT CRICKET'

"Of course you don't like to have such a farce on a cricket pitch because we were 52-2 and 62-8 -- that's not cricket.

"But if it had to happen it's best it happened before the tournament starts.

"The guys have resurrected their confidence and we know it's going to be a big crowd and a big occasion for all of us West Indians.

"We just have to put that little aberration that we had a few days ago to the past and concentrate on the game."

Lara will be trying to defeat a Pakistan team guided by Bob Woolmer, his former coach at English county team Warwickshire.

Woolmer dismissed all the pre-match hype of whether West Indies were favourites because they were the home side or Pakistan because they won against the West Indians in December.

"Both teams have a 50-50 chance at the beginning of the game," Woolmer said simply.

"Historically in all World Cups, the home teams have not done so well. But there is always a chance for that to change.

"I don't look at cricket like that. We start 50-50 and you have to outplay them on the day."

Both sides will be picking from fully fit squads, though Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi is unavailable because he is half-way through a four-match ICC ban after an altercation with a spectator.

Ireland and Zimbabwe complete Group D.


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