West Indies will bounce back, warns Lara

Published: Sunday, March 11, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Montego Bay (Jamaica):Admitting that West Indies are an unpredictable side, skipper Brian Lara has cautioned his rivals not to underestimate his team and promised that the Caribbeans will bounce back in the World Cup.

''I promise a better showing by the team, it will roar back and you will be proud of the West Indies team,'' Lara said.

Addressing a media conference here, the 37-year-old left hand bat said, ''World cup is a huge stage and I am sure my boys will like to perform and give their best before the home crowd. So, dont rule us out.''

Asked whether the crushing defeat at the hands of India in a warm-up match has dented the morale of his side, Lara said, ''We have gone through such phases several times during last two-three years but we have come back, but nobody will like to lose and I have told my players that they have a job to perform and live up to the expectations of the people.''

''When I say dont rule us out I mean it because we have beaten every team in recent years,'' the skipper added. ''But, yes it is a matter of concern. If we continue with this tag of a team with chronic unpredictability, it is of no good to the team and players reputation,'' he said, adding ''let me put it this way. We are not exactly down in the dumps as the tournament has not yet started.''

''We have played good cricket in recent time, so a poor showing in a warm-up match should not mean that you have to be sarcastic about the West Indian team,'' Lara told the journalists.

The skipper sounded confident that his players were seasoned enough to understand what they have to do, saying ''we just cannot hope to be in the race if we repeat such show (like one against India in the warm-up match) in the World Cup.''

''There is a lot of pressure on the players to perform and not every batsman fills the first four slots or bowler bowls on any type of track, we have to take all these factors into consideration, but this is also a fact that we need to be very consistent throughout the World Cup.''

Lara rubbishes late night party charges: Lara has dismissed charges that late night partying by team members was the reason behind their embarrassing defeat in warm-up game against India.

''Well, first of all, I don't know anything about it. I doubt that with the sort of importance of this tournament that that would have been the case,'' Lara said.

''I am sure that if the management, Clive Lloyd or Bennett King, know about it they would definitely filter it down to myself.

''I am not going to go there, but something such as that is not what we want to portray. The guys know and they are very professional in understanding what is necessary to perform the next day,'' the 37-year-old world record-holding batsman said.

Following the home side's nine-wicket loss, there were suggestions that team members were seen at a Montego Bay club partying until as late as 3 a.m local time.

''Until proven that it is not the case, I am going to say the source from where the information came may be wrong. I don't believe it happened,'' Lara said.


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