Lara wants Windies to finish in style
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, May 12 (Reuters) - Brian Lara said today he wants the West Indies to finish their one-day international series against Zimbabwe in style to prepare for the expected tougher battles against India.
After completing a series-winning fourth victory in the fifth match on Wednesday in St Lucia, Lara told reporters the West Indies wanted to maintain their unbeaten record in the final two matches in Port-of-Spain tomorrow and on Sunday.
''I don't think we need to take a step backwards now. It is about going forward, getting the confidence up again,'' Lara said.
''We want even better victories, more convincing victories, and Trinidad is the start of something to come.
''We've got a very important match next Thursday against India. We must execute our job pretty well in the next 200 overs of one-day cricket against Zimbabwe.'' India, ranked third in both forms of the game by the international Cricket Council, arrive in the Caribbean later today for a series that includes five one-day internationals and four tests.
West Indies' success against the inexperienced Zimbabweans - one match was rained off - will serve as useful preparation, Lara added.
''Whatever we can get out of this series is good for us.
Confidence is important for any West Indies team during this period of time,'' Lara said.
''Our backs have been against the wall. We've lost a lot of matches both in Test and one-day cricket and whoever we play against and can beat and build up that type of winning sequence is important for us.'' In a continuation of their policy of rotating players against Zimbabwe, the hosts have made two changes to their 14-man squad.
All-rounder Ian Bradshaw, who played in the first two matches in Antigua, has been included in place of new opening batsman Sewnarine Chattergoon, who impressed in St Lucia with an unbeaten half-century in his second match.
Wicketkeeper/batsman Carlton Baugh has been picked for the first time in the series, with Denesh Ramdin being rested.
Zimbabwe captain Terrence Duffin said his team were learning lessons ahead of a triangular series against Bermuda and Canada in Trinidad next week.
''We just have to keep working and keep trying to do the basics and, hopefully, a win will come,'' Duffin said.
''We will go into the triangular competition with the experience we have gained from this series. This series will be a big help for us and, hopefully, we can prove something there.'' REUTERS DH VC1946