Wednesday 4th October, 2006


No experimenting for Champions Trophy

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Skipper Brian Lara has given the assurance that West Indies will not experiment with their batting in the International Cricket Council’s Champions Trophy.

Lara tinkered with the line-up during the DLF Cup Tri-Nation Series, but he said on Tuesday in view of the importance of the Champions Trophy, he would be putting the best 11 on the field.

“There is no question of experimentation in the Champions Trophy,” Lara said.

“Experiments are done keeping in view the importance of match and tournament. This is a mini-World Cup and being the defending champions we’re also under pressure and so we will field our best eleven.”

He added:

“We tried some experiments in the DLF Cup tri-series. But we performed well against the top two teams of Australia and India.”

West Indies, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are competing for the two spots available in the Champions Trophy main draw.

Despite being labeled as one of the favourites to make to the main draw, Lara said he was taking nothing for granted.

“Zimbabwe and Bangladesh were also capable of upsets. Bangladesh has even defeated World Champions Australia. We can’t commit such mistakes,” Lara stressed.

West Indies, defending champions after beating England by two wickets two years ago in a dramatic final at the Oval, showed decent form in reaching the final of the recent DLF Cup, before losing to World champions Australia.

And while the team’s batting remains a source of concern, Lara said he was focusing an getting an improvement in every facet of his team’s performance.

“We did not play much before the DLF Cup. but still our batsmen’s performance was not bad,” he pointed out.

“We’ll have to look at every aspect of our game, whether it is batting, bowling or fielding, to win the trophy again. Matches are won by all round display of skills.”

Lara said West Indies were also looking forward to next year’s Cricket World Cup and felt his team would get better as the mega-event approached.

“We have to play a lot of cricket before the World Cup, so we’ll improve.

“After Champions Trophy we have to play Pakistan and then there is also a tri-series in India. We have a lot of time to prepare for the World Cup,” Lara noted. (CMC)





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