Brian Lara, the West Indies great, said the main challenge for Jason Holder's men at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 was to get to the knock-out stage – after which they had the match-winners "to beat any team".
Lara, who retired with 10,405 runs from 299 one-day internationals, said the team's main concern was lack of consistency.
"The West Indies have match-winners, but that’s not enough to play in English conditions and win the World Cup. We need a team that is consistent,” he said on Thursday, 4 April, during a function in Mumbai.
“[But] once they are in the knock-out, they can beat any team, we have seen that in the past."
The West Indies, two-time winners of the World Cup, had to go through a qualifying tournament to seal their place in the 10-team event in England and Wales, starting 30 May. They are placed ninth on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings, but in the recent series at home, ran England, the top-ranked side, close to draw the five-match ODI series 2-2.
They prompted England collapses, while also breaking records with their batting, led by the indomitable Chris Gayle. It marked a welcome turnaround for the team after losses to Bangladesh (home and away) and India (away).
On their tour of India in October-November, the hosts had taken the five-match ODI series 3-1, with one match tied. They also won the Tests 2-0 and swept the three Twenty20 Internationals. Lara, though, felt things might be a lot closer when India tour the Caribbean and the United States later this year for two Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is.
“The team has shown enough improvement from what they played in India last October. What we are trying to be is be a strong team at home," he said. "India may have to worry when they come to the West Indies in July-August because we have a team that understands the conditions."
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