For Windies to reach World Cup semis, consistency is key, says Brian Lara
Windies kick off their WC 2019 campaign against Pakistan at Trent Bridge on May 31.
Updated - Apr 21, 2019 10:26 pm
Even though the West Indies had to qualify for the ICC World Cup starting next month in England, their recent show against England and the performance of the Caribbean players in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) has made the supporters hopeful about the team doing well. The Caribbeans made semi-finals in a WC last time in 1996 when they lost to Australia by a mere five runs. Before that, the West Indies had made the WC semi-finals thrice in a row between 1975 and 1983 and went on to reach the finals every time.
Former West Indian captain Brian Lara, one of the greatest batsmen produced by Caribbean cricket, is of the opinion that the team needs to be consistent if they wish to make their fifth WC semi-final and the fourth in England. According to the 49-year-old who led the Windies in two World Cups in 1999 and 2007 but couldn’t lead them to the semi-finals even once, this time they are a “surprise element”. Windies kick off their WC 2019 campaign against Pakistan at Trent Bridge on May 31.
Windies are a surprise element, says Lara
“West Indies will have to play some consistent cricket. We’ve shown that we can beat England or India. We can beat any team on our day. But then we lose against Bangladesh or Afghanistan, and we let it all go away. So, that’s what West Indies have to avoid. I would love to see them get to the semi-finals,” Times of India quoted the former cricketer as saying.
“West Indies, over the last two T20 World Cups, have been the surprise element. They’ve always been up there in the opposing team’s mind. There have been too many elements joining the dots, gradually it’s happening. So, I don’t think any country walks into the game against West Indies anymore thinking it’s over before it starts,” he added.
The Windies are the current world champions in T20 cricket and have won the title twice in 2012 and 2016.
Lara also cautioned that the Windies are also capable of making colossal failures, saying that the “surprise element works both ways”. He also reminded of the fact that West Indian players are sought after in different franchise leagues played across the world and they can gel and deliver as a team. “But consistency is the key,” he said.
Lara also predicted that hosts and No.1 team in ODIs at the moment, England, and India are likely to make it to the semi-finals in the upcoming WC and alerted batsmen to be cautious of English conditions.