Windies not yet firing
- Jimmy Adams

Stabroek News
April 18, 2000

ST GEORGE'S, Grenada, (CANA) - Despite their six-match winning streak in the 2000 Cable and Wireless home series, West Indies' captain Jimmy Adams believes the revitalised regional outfit is still not firing on all its cylinders.

He is extremely pleased with the attitude of his charges but he urges them not to rest on their laurels. Adams' reshaped side gave further evidence of resurgence when they defeated Pakistan for the second straight match in Sunday's final preliminary encounter of the triangular one-day series, which also involved the ousted Zimbabwe team.

The 17-run victory over the Pakistanis at the Queen's Park Stadium was the Windies' sixth of the season following the appointment of a new management team and the withdrawal of captain Brian Lara.

Adams has so far led the West Indies to successive victories over lightweights Zimbabwe in a two-match test series and he has guided the team to two one-day wins against both Pakistan and the Africans.

"I don't think we have started playing as well as we can. Our bowling, our batting, our fielding, we can still improve and I say that very seriously and it is something that we will continue to look at as we go along," Adams said in a post-match interview here.

Whereas Lara missed all the matches, veteran fast bowler Courtney Walsh and leading batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul only played in the tests while Curtly Ambrose was rested for Sunday's game.

"We saw a lot of fighting qualities from the entire team which was very good to see. It is nice to know that when things aren't going too well as a group, we can fight back and come back from situations, and we did that very well today (Sunday)," Adams said.

"We are quite happy to get this win going into the finals in Barbados," added Adams.

With Ambrose rested for the game, the Windies' bowlers, led by man-of-the-match Reon King, showed their mettle much to the delight of Adams.

"I'm very happy with the bowlers today. Obviously, Ambrose is a top-quality fast bowler but we still believe that we have the potential and we have what it takes to get the job done in spite of not having Ambrose," Adams said.

"It was a psychological boost for us as well to have come to this game without him," added Adams.

"In most areas of our game, we can improve. 1 think there can be improvement at the top, I believe there can be improvement in the middle and I believe there can be improvement at the end," Adams said.

"As we go along, we will assess every game. We looked at what we could have done. If we target areas, then we'll look to work in those areas," Adams said.

"But I don't think we are at a point yet where we can sit back and say we are fully satisfied anywhere. We still have a long way to go but thankfully, we have a squad that is committed to this improvement," Adams remarked.

Nagamootoo selected in West Indies 14

Mahendra Nagamootoo yesterday finally earned a West Indies senior squad call-up when he was named in the 14-man squad to oppose Pakistan in the three-match finals of Cable and Wireless triangular limited overs competition.

According to the Caribbean News Agency (Cana), the Guyanese leg spinner/batsman will replace Nehemiah Perry in the squad for which ace fastbowler Curtly Ambrose has been recalled.

Nagamootoo who was highly touted to win Windies selection after three years of quality performances in regional competition, reminded the selectors of his ability with a good showing against Pakistan for a West Indies XI last week, when he hit 32 not out and took one for 29 off seven overs in the West Indies XI's nine-run victory in Antigua. The Berbician has been a key member of the Guyana team's good record in limited overs competitions and four-day matches in the recent times.

With Shivnarine Chanderpaul rested, the 24-year-old Nagamootoo joins Reon King as the lone two Guyanese in the squad.

In 23 regional one-day appearances, Nagamootoo has taken 33 wickets at an average of 21.63, with an economy rate of 3.68 (runs-per-over).

The right-arm leggie is also a useful left-handed lower order batsman, with three first-class half centuries. He was the joint leading wicket-taker - with Ambrose - with 31 victims in the 2000 Busta Cup tournament at an average of 20.83.

Ambrose also returns to the side after a one-game break, while Sylvester Joseph and Laurie Williams, who are yet to play in the series, are retained.

Regardless of the outcome of the first two finals - Kensington Oval (Barbados) tomorrow, and the Queen's Park Oval (Trinidad) on Saturday, there will be a third match between Pakistan and the West Indies on Sunday, at Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad.

Squad: Jimmy Adams (captain), Sherwin Campbell, Philo Wallace, Chris Gayle, Wavell Hinds, Ricardo Powell, Ridley Jacobs, Franklyn Rose, Curtly Ambrose, Nixon McLean, Reon King, Mahendra Nagamootoo, Laurie Williams, Sylvester Joseph.