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ICC World Cup 2019 | Consistency Will be Key for West Indies to Make Semis: Brian Lara

Cricketnext Staff |April 21, 2019, 6:28 PM IST
ICC World Cup 2019 | Consistency Will be Key for West Indies to Make Semis: Brian Lara

It is after quite some time that there is a sense of expectation and excitement around the West Indian side that will go to the upcoming ICC World Cup and recent results have shown that they can be quite a difficult opposition to get past.

Former captain Brian Lara believes that West Indies need to be consistent to make the semi-finals and says that they are the "surprise element" in the tournament which returns to the UK after two decades.

"West Indies will have to play some consistent cricket. We've shown that we can beat England or India. We can beat any team on our day. But then we lose against Bangladesh or Afghanistan, and we let it all go away. So, that's what West Indies have to avoid. I would love to see them get to the semi-finals," Lara told the Times of India.

"West Indies, over the last two T20 World Cups, have been the surprise element. They've always been up there in the opposing team's mind. There have been too many elements joining the dots, gradually it’s happening. So, I don't think any country walks into the game against West Indies anymore thinking it's over before it starts.

"On the other hand, we are capable of colossal failures, too. So, the surprise element works both ways and that's where West Indies need to keep working. It's amazing we have players that are most sought after in the different franchise leagues around the world and can still get together as a team. We've got two T20 World Cup trophies to show for that. But consistency is the key," added the left-hander.

The legendary batsman believes world number 1 side England and India are likely to cruise through to the semi-finals during what he expects to be a dry summer. Lara, who has over 10,000 runs in ODIs, cautioned the batsmen to be wary of conditions in England.

"Normally, I'd never risk backing them (England) because they've never failed to lose that one important game. But this team looks good. So, them and India are two teams I believe will definitely be in the semi-finals."

"The key to performing in England is knowing your game, knowing your limitations, and playing accordingly, assessing conditions very quickly. You're batting under a cloudy sky, on a damp pitch and suddenly a couple of hours later, it's all dried out, the sun is out and things turn better.

"One thing is sure: if it's going to be a dry summer, pitches are going to be very receptive to good batting," he added.

Lara also thinks that the competition could come down to who has the better mindset.

"The key battle in cricket is always the mental battle," he said. "That's something you cannot show. But it's there. Always. The team that wins that, wins half the battle.

"You see guys with average technique score tons of runs and guys with amazing techniques going nowhere. That's because mentally they are not there."

West Indies kick start their World Cup campaign on May 31 in Nottingham against Pakistan.

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Cricket World Cup Points Table

Pos Team P W L T/NR PTS NRR
1
NZ
6 5 0 1 11 +1.30
2
AUS
6 5 1 0 10 +0.84
3
IND
5 4 0 1 9 +0.80
4
ENG
6 4 2 0 8 +1.45
5
BAN
7 3 3 1 7 -0.13
6
SL
6 2 2 2 6 -1.11
7
PAK
6 2 3 1 5 -1.26
8
WI
6 1 4 1 3 +0.19
9
SA
7 1 5 1 3 -0.32
10
AFG
7 0 7 0 0 -1.63

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4647 111
5 Australia 4805 109
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
see more