Lara confident Windies can succeed in England
By Simon Cambers
May 7, 2004
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (Reuters) - West Indies captain Brian Lara says his team can win the forthcoming Test series in England but must find the mental strength to back up their ability.
"We lost 3-1 in England in 2000 so we know it's going to be tough," Lara said.
"But I still think the West Indies team, this West Indies team, can beat England. We just have to be mentally strong and keep working hard.
"When we lose a match, we seem to be in a bit of disarray. We need to change that."
England's 3-0 victory in the Test series which ended last month was their first triumph in the Caribbean since 1968, and West Indies' poor record overseas in recent years will make Michael Vaughan's side strong favourites to retain the Wisden Trophy.
"It's pretty evident that in the last six or seven years we have performed better at home than away," Lara said.
"That (winning overseas) is something that West Indies teams in the 1970s and 1980s were able to do, and we have to find that same thing, whether it be physical or mental."
West Indies bounced back in the one-day series against England, winning back-to-back games in St Lucia last weekend to take a 2-1 lead, only to lose the final game in Barbados on Wednesday.
Lara said he believed their improved one-day performances could help their Test form.
"What is good is that most of the guys in the one-day squad play in the Test team so maybe we can take some confidence from that," he said.
"Maybe that will carry over into the Test series against Bangladesh and England."
In four Tests, West Indies were twice bowled out for less than 100, including a humiliating collapse to 47 all out in the first Test in Trinidad and Tobago.
Lara, who made a world-record 400 in the final drawn Test in Antigua, said the more experienced players must shoulder much of the blame.
"The senior players -- myself, Sars (Ramnaresh Sarwan), (Shivnarine) Chanderpaul -- we know we didn't get enough runs in the first three matches.
"But we have six matches (including two against Bangladesh) in the rest of the year to make amends for it."
Lara said there were some positives to take to England.
"We have some young fast bowlers -- Tino Best, Fidel Edwards, who did really well in the Test series.
"We just didn't get the runs on the board to help them. When we did get the runs, in Antigua, they bowled really well and showed their ability.
The four-Test series begins at Lord's on July 22.