Cave Hill (Barbados), May 24 (IANS/CMC) Vice-captain Denesh Ramdin has backed the West Indies to make a smooth transition to the 50-over format when they open their campaign in the ICC Champions Trophy starting next month.
Several leading members of the squad have been campaigning in the Indian Premier League over the last six weeks but Ramdin said here Thursday he expected no fallout from this.
In fact, he contended that the IPL would be good preparation for the players heading into the Champions Trophy.
“Most of the guys are professional cricketers and they have the ability to make that transition – the Chris Gayles, the Dwayne Bravos, the Kieron Pollards. Those guys – they can sit down and bat and play long innings,” Ramdin said prior to a training session at the 3Ws Oval.
“They’ve been doing well in the IPL so that will be good for their confidence going into England. I’m sure they’ve done well in England before so it’s just about gelling together and the batters batting long in the middle.
“Fifty overs are a lot of balls so we’re not going to bash it around. We have a strong middle and lower order so if we get a good start with Gayle and the other guys at the top of the order we can capitalise lower down.”
The West Indies are currently winding down a five-day camp which started Monday, as they prepare for the June 6-23 tournament in England and Wales.
The regional side, who captured the 2004 edition which was also played in England, have been installed in Group B alongside reigning World champions India, Pakistan and South Africa.
While acknowledging the quality of the opposition, Ramdin said he believed the West Indies possessed the ability to spring a few surprises.
“The first game is very important. Once we can overcome in that game, it will give us some form of confidence,” Ramdin pointed out.
“Pakistan is a team, you know, where anything can happen on the day with those guys. India is one of the best teams in the world along with Australia and South Africa. Those teams are playing really good one-day cricket but with the conditions you never know.
“If you win the toss and put in a team, it’s two new balls that you’re using now so if you pick up four or five wickets in the first 20 overs you can set up a match and it can go either way as we have a good bowling unit as well.”
The West Indies have endured mixed results in the one-day format of recent, sweeping minnows Zimbabwe 3-0 in the Caribbean last February but suffering a heavy 5-0 drubbing Down Under at the start of the year.
Ramdin pointed out, however, that the Windies were improving and had the right balance in the side to begin to produce positive results in the one-day format.
“I believe in the past we have been competitive in patches. We have the ability to be competitive. We have guys like Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels who can sit down and bat in the middle. We would like to get the big starts from the Gayles (and company) which will be very important for us to overcome the opposition.”
“Conditions are going to be tough especially playing in May, June in England. Every player who goes up there finds it challenging. We will try to get that combination right and see how it goes.”
The West Indies leave the Caribbean Saturday for another camp in Wales before taking on Australia and Sri Lanka in official warm-up fixtures.