Mumbai: West Indies cricket manager Richie Richardson on Wednesday said he is well aware that India would look to bounce back from their forgettable England tour but believes in his side's ability and looks forward to beat the hosts.
"When you are a top team and you lose, you just can't wait until the next series to really put things right. I just hope that it continues to be a problem for India. We know they are going to look to avenge what happened in England. Put things right, because they were heavily criticised. But we are up for the challenge and we also have a lot to prove. So we are going to go there and play positive cricket and look to beat India," the former West Indies skipper said here in a press conference.
He acknowledged that India were a higher ranked team but said they have a good side that can beat anyone. "I believe that we have the calibre of players that can go out there and perform and play well enough to beat anybody. We accept that we are not at the top of the rankings, but the ability that we have, if we execute well, the guys are going to play confident and positive cricket. I believe we can do very well against India," he said.
India would play five ODIs, followed by a lone T20 match and three Tests against the West Indies, with the series kickstarting October 8 with the first one-dayer. West Indies have two warm-up matches before the series and Richardson said it would help them to get get used to the conditions. "We have a few days to practice and get acclimatised. We have just come out of a successful series against Bangladesh and all of our players have been involved with cricket. Some are still playing (in Champions League T20). We feel we are in much better shape, much better prepared to take on the Indians and we are just looking forward to a very serious challenge, a good challenge and a successful challenge," he said.
He further said the recent series against Bangladesh would hold the team in good stead. "The fact that a number of our batsmen have been playing against Asian spinners, it certainly would help. But one would say the Indian spinners are a better combination and much more formidable. So we would have to work harder, dig a bit deeper. Certainly having recently played against Bangladesh would help our batsmen," he said.
He also backed Dwayne Bravo to lead the side well in the ODI series against India. "In the short space of time that he has been captain, he has done reasonably well. He is a very intelligent cricketer. He has got lots of experience. He has been playing for West Indies for a while, played all over the world and certainly has a lot of experience in Indian conditions. He knows the Indian players and I am pretty sure he will do well as a captain in ODI matches," he said.
The 52-year old said they are viewing the ODI series as a preparation for next year's World Cup. "Obviously we look at this do-or die series as preparation for the World Cup. I am sure the coaches and the selectors would be looking at a number of players. The coaches will have their strategy along with the captain as to how they want to prepare and their plans. This is like a starting point for us to put things in place and start our plans and preparation for the World Cup," he said.
Coach Stuart Williams said the wickets in India are similar to what they have in West Indies. "The wickets here are basically similar to the Caribbean. This is early season in India as well, so maybe we will get one or two fresh wickets. It is not much different to the Caribbean. We are just looking forward to the challenge whatever we wicket we play on. We got to adapt and adjust quickly and move forward," Williams said.
Asked about the opening combination in the absence of explosive batsman Chris Gayle, Williams said, "you have Dwayne Smith and Lendl Simmons. Those guys having played here in the Champions League, they are very familiar with the condition as well."