Windies captain calls for fight against India
All eyes will be on the Nicholas Pooran-led West Indies team when they take on India in the first of three one-day internationals (ODI) starting in Port of Spain, Trinidad, today at 8:30 a.m. Jamaica time.
After a poor performance against Bangladesh in Guyana, where they lost all three matches, Pooran and coach Phil Simmons are almost guaranteeing a better display, with a better batting surface at the Queens Park Oval at their disposal.
Statistics are certainly not in favour of the home side who have lost six ODIs in a row, and to make matters worse, they have not beaten India in a bilateral series since 2006.
If there is any hope to cling on to for the men in Maroon, these matches will not count for any points toward the World Cup Super League and also India travelled with a second-string side which will be captained by opener Shikhar Dhawan.
For Pooran, the disappointment of the Bangladesh series has prompted the players to do much introspection, and the aim is to show the fight against the more formidable Indian side.
"For me, I want to see the guys continue to fight with both bat and ball," Pooran said. "For this India series, I want us to dig deep and just fight as long as possible and you never know, things might just happen for us."
That fight Pooran is alluding to is batting the full complement of overs which the West Indies have not managed to do in their last 12 ODIs.
With weather hampering the team's preparations, Pooran says the side will show their true mettle once conditions are right.
"Once the conditions are good, I expect our guys to put up some good scores," he said. "Even if the conditions are bad, I expect our guys to fight. At the end of the day, it is about us getting better as a team, and it doesn't matter who the opposition is."
With no Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, and Jasprit Bumrah to call on, Dhawan is positive that the fringe players such as Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Hooda, and Sanju Samson can get the job done and continue their winning ways as they did in England recently.
"I am a very positive person, and positivity is all about self-belief and confidence," Dhawan said. "I have been around for many years and that is why I am here. I want to create energy for the youngsters in the team that will allow us to perform to our best and when we do that, the results will take care of themselves."