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Windies well prepared for India challenge — Richardson

Richie-Richardson-pointsMUMBAI, India (CMC) — Team manager Richie Richardson said here yesterday that West Indies were well prepared for their upcoming One-Day International series against India, and would use the tour to enhance their planning for next year’s World Cup.

West Indies face India in the first of five ODIs next Wednesday at the Nehru Stadium in Kochi and Richardson said that unlike the previous tour of India, the Caribbean side would enter the series with excellent preparation behind them.

“We have arrived in good time and have a few days to practise and get acclimatised. All of our players have been engaged,” Richardson told reporters here.

“We’ve just come off a successful series against Bangladesh and all of our players have been involved in cricket. Some are still playing as we speak so we feel that we are in much better shape, much better prepared to take on the Indians.

“We are looking forward to a serious challenge, a good challenge and a successful challenge.”

On the hastily arranged tour of India last November, West Indies were beaten 2-1 in the one-dayers and subsequently lost both Tests inside three days by innings margins.

The defeat left West Indies without a one-day series win in a decade.

However, Richardson believes the side is equipped with enough quality to pose a serious threat to the reigning world champions.

“I believe we have the calibre players to go out there and perform and play well enough to beat anybody,” said the former West Indies captain.

“We accept that we are not at the top of the rankings but with the ability that we have, if we [field] well, and the guys go out and play confident and positive cricket, and be thoughtful, I believe we can do very well against India.”

More significantly, Richardson pointed out, West Indies are eyeing the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand which bowls off from February 14 to March 29 next year.

West Indies do battle in Group B against the likes of South Africa, India and Pakistan, and Richardson said building early momentum would be important.

“Confidence is one of things we can gain [from this one-day series]. Obviously we are looking at the one-day series as preparation for the World Cup, so I’m sure the coaches and selectors would be looking at a number of players,” he explained.

“The coaches will have their strategies, along with the captain, as to how they want to prepare with their plans and things like that. So this is like a starting point for us, to put things in place and start our preparation for the World Cup.”

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