(Trinidad & Tobago Express) West Indies start the fifth Digicel Test against England at the Queen’s Park Oval today and manager Omar Khan is confident they will regain the Wisden Trophy.
The coveted prize has been held by England since winning 3-1 at home in 2000, but Khan says that West Indies are certain they can grab the trophy back.
‘It’s a match that we will be playing positive cricket as the captain Chris Gayle indicated, and ensure that we, if do not win the match, at least not lose it, so that we could win the series, at least 1-0,’ Khan told the media when the team trained at St Mary’s College Ground at Serpentine Road, St Clair.
‘But our aim obviously is to beat England and win the series 2-0.’
A drawn series will not be sufficient to bring the trophy back to the Caribbean. And with the pitch expected to produce a result over five days of cricket – weather permitting – a home win may be their only option.
‘They’ve been playing some really good cricket,’ Khan said. ‘And I’m sure the guys look forward to winning the series.
‘We haven’t won a series in a long time. At the end of the Test match in Barbados when we had our meeting, I told the guys they can be proud of themselves.
‘We went the last six matches unbeaten. That’s a fabulous feat for the team.’
However, he former Trinidad and Tobago manager, while optimistic about his team’s chances, stressed that the batsman had to perform.
And he was hopeful they can after the recent form shown by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin, Brendan Nash and Devon Smith in the last match.
‘We have always impressed upon the batters that everybody has to pull their weight. We cannot only depend on Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul.’
Sarwan agreed that the junior batsmen need to step up and support their more established counterparts.
He also praised Ramdin for his innings of 166 in the Barbados Test on Sunday, and hoped that Ramdin could carry on in the same vein.
‘It’s up to him to try and make the best use of it,’ Sarwan said. ‘I think his last Test innings showed us how talented he is, and once he continues he will go from strength to strength.’
Sarwan also hoped the other young players will seize the chance they get to represent the regional side.
‘Once they get opportunities they have to grab it with both hands, and once they do that they can grow from strength to strength,’ the 28-year-old batsman said.
Sarwan, though, seemed upset when asked about the team’s security concerns.
‘We’ve never had such problems in the West Indies, and I don’t know why you would ask such a question.’