Unpredictable, yes but take us seriously: Lara

Published: Friday, November 3, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Jaipur:After thrashing title favourites South Africa en route to final of the ICC Champions Trophy, West Indies skipper Brian Lara demanded little more respect saying he did not mind the 'unpredictable' tag but time was ripe to start taking his team more seriously.

''We are said to be very unpredictable. That may be right in a sense but after performances like this, I think we need to be taken slightly more seriously,'' Lara said after the semi-final win against the Proteas.

''Frankly, I don't mind what tag we are given. We have always been a good one-day team and just need some finetuning. We know what we are capable of,'' he added.

He showered rich praise on his batmen and bowlers to pull off a sensational win over the higher ranked opponents.

''It was a good start for us. (Chris) Gayle and (Shivnarine) Chanderpaul transferred the pressure back on the South Africans.

Earlier we did well to restrict them for a gettable total of 258.

''Given that wicket was good to bat on for 100 over, our bowlers did fairly well. I think it was a good toss to lose,'' he added.

Lara also said playing qualifiers was a blessing in disguise and helped his team to gain some momentum.

He hailed Gayle, who played a match winning knock of 133, as an exceptional talent and said the batsman, notwithstanding his 'comical' acts took his cricket seriously.

''Chris might do things sometimes that look comical but he's very serious about his cricket. he just never let them settle down in the middle,'' Lara said On Sunday's final against Australia in Mumbai, Lara said the Aussies are not the same team that the West Indies defeated earlier in the tournament.

''Of course we have beaten them earlier. But they have gained a momentum ever since. They are a buoyed lot now and it will be a tough match against them.'' Lara also praised South Africa for showing tenacity even when the chips were down.

''Credit must go to them for the way they played even after they were almost out of the match half way through. (Andre) Nel bowl his 10 overs with a lot of heart. You can't write off a team that puts so much into the game.'' South African coach Mickey Arthur, meanwhile, felt his team were 20-25 runs short of the target.

''I think AB de Villiers' run out was critical. That cost us those 20-25 runs, which could have made the game close,'' he said adding,'' However, you can not take anything from the West Indians - particularly Gayle and Chanderpaul. They played superbly and batted us out of the game.

''You are as good as your opponents let you to be and West Indies were just too good for us in this game,'' he said.

Arthur said it was satisfactory to defeat two sub-continent teams - Sri Lanka and Pakistan - and the Proteas were already looking forward to the home series against India and Pakistan.


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