Windies look to draw first blood as ODIs start in Antigua
ST JOHN’S, Antigua – West Indies will look to make a winning start when they bowl off their three-match One-Day International series against England on Friday.
West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo believes it will be a “hard fought and close series” but is backing his team to come up with the goods, when the contest gets going at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground at 9:30 am (8:30 am Jamaica Time).
“This is a very important series for us. We are playing against a higher ranked team and as a young One-Day team, we’re looking to go forward and gain momentum, we know they will test us,” Bravo said.
“We had a decent tour of New Zealand – where we were able to draw the series – we faced some tough conditions as an inexperienced team with some of our senior players missing. It is important that we play to our true potential. I expect a very good game tomorrow.”
The 30-year-old allrounder, who is set to play his 156th ODI, was speaking after the West Indies had a full training session at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground. He outlined that the series will signal the start to start of the road towards the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup in New Zealand and Australia.
Bravo told reporters: “This gives us a chance to see where we’re at. I don’t want to say this is preparation for the Twenty20 World Cup. These are three One-Day Internationals – and we have the 50-over World Cup round the corner as well.
“This is gearing us up as a one-day team to see where we are and then after that we will focus on the T20 games in Barbados. But as the one-day captain it is important that we see how well we can do against England in this format here in Antigua.”
Bravo said he believed his young team can topple the visitors.
“We have been training hard as a team and there are some positives. I want everyone to keep believing. We will play hard and we will play fair,” he stressed.
“We are going to play to our strength and as long as we play the way we have played recently we should be very competitive. Our strength is ‘the team’. We fancy ourselves chasing. We have a good bowling group but we would fancy a chase.”
The second ODI will be on Sunday followed by the third match next Wednesday.
Dwayne Bravo (captain)
Ottis Gibson (Head Coach)
Richie Richardson (Team Operations Manager)
Stuart Williams (Assistant Coach)
Andre Coley (Assistant Coach)
Saqlain Mushtaq (Assistant Coach)
C.J. Clark (Physiotherapist)
Hector Martinez Charles (Strength & Conditioning Coordinator)
Richard Berridge (Video & Statistical Analyst)
Virgil Browne (Massage Therapist)
Philip Spooner (Media Relations Manager)
At Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Antigua
Tuesday, February 25: England beat UWI Vice Chancellor’s XI by 29 runs
Friday, February 28: 1st One-Day International
Sunday, March 2: 2nd One-Day International
Wednesday, March 5: 3rd One-Day International
At Kensington Oval, Barbados
Sunday, March 9: 1st T20 International
Tuesday, March 11: 2nd T20 International
Thursday, March 13: 3rd T20 International