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Thatscricket - News - 'Lara absence big blow, we'll put best foot forward'

Published: Tuesday, October 1, 2002, 20:12 [IST]
 
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Bangalore: Star batsman Brian Lara's absence is a major blow, and the West Indies expects a "very tough" Indian tour beginning this week, the visiting Captain Carl Hooper said on Tuesday.[an error occurred while processing this directive]"It's a very big disappointment," Hooper, accompanied by the team, said on his arrival here, where the West Indies would kick off their tour with a three-day warm-up match against Board President's XI, led by Mohammed Kaif, on Friday."He (Lara) is a very, very experienced player and we will miss him certainly. It's a major blow to us", he said.But Hooper pointed out the West Indies had to play many Test matches without Lara in the past. "We will put our best foot forward. It's important for people like myself to lead by example. We got exciting young players."Hooper said the Indian tour would be a "tough one" but they are prepared for it. "We had a 10-day camp in Colombo before coming here. We are excited about this trip. We will play good cricket and I think we can do well."But he admitted that it's going to be very difficult to beat India in India, pointing out Australia, one of the strongest sides that came to India, could not do it. "We are under no illusion (that it's going to be easy). If we playvery good cricket, we can do it (beating India)."Hooper said the tourists are a nice, balanced side with two spinners and five fast bowlers. "Whatever surface we play, we can pick a side that's capable of doing well."Asked if India is a better side now and has the potential to win the World Cup next year, Hooper said, "It's hard to say. In this part of the world, it's very difficult to beat India like one witnessed in Colombo."But the World Cup is going to be played in South Africa under different conditions. "Like the West Indies, India did not do well over the years overseas", he commented.Queried if the West Indies would focus more on One-dayers in India with the World Cup round the corner, Hooper said it would focus on all matches, especially Test encounters, and each one of them is going to be very important."But with the World Cup round the corner, we will focus a bit more on One-day matches," he added.Hooper expressed disappointment over West Indies' early exit in the just concluded ICC Champions Trophy in Colombo. "We were disappointed to lose to South Africa," he said.Virtually welcoming dismissals enabled by the new TV technology put in place of the Champions Trophy, he voiced hope that it's going to get better in future."In a few instances probably it could have been used but hasn't been used. But I am sure it's going to get better."Meanwhile, Hooper said the touring side would start nets at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, where the practice match is scheduled to be held, on Wednesday. PTI

Extras:
Lack of experience is our big weakness, admits Hooper
Srinath, Nehra may play against West Indies: Ganguly
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