‘We feel we are in much better shape’, says Richie Richardson

"We feel we are in much better shape, much better prepared to take on the Indians and we are just looking forward to a very serious challenge"

“We are just looking forward to a very serious challenge”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

West Indies team manager Richie Richardson believes that the national team “are in much better shape” for this tour of India in comparison to previous ones since they have arrived early and had time to get accustomed to the conditions.

Richardson is also hoping that the West Indies can finally win a Test series in India for the first time in three decades. But, the West Indies will first have to focus on trying to win an ODI series in India for the first time in a decade.

“We have arrived a good time [in advance],” Richardson said. “We have a few days to practice and get acclimatised. All of our players have been engaged. We have just come out of a successful series against Bangladesh and all of our players have been involved with cricket. Some are still playing [in the CLT20]. We feel we are in much better shape, much better prepared to take on the Indians and we are just looking forward to a very serious challenge, a good challenge and a successful challenge.”

Richardson also noted that India are on a mission to get back to their winning ways after they were thrashed 3-1 by England in the recent five-Test series.

“When you lose, especially when you are a top team and you lose, you just can’t wait until the next series to really put things right,” he said. “I just hope that it continues to be a problem for India. We know they are going to look to avenge what happened in England. Put things right, because they were heavily criticised. But we are up for the challenge and we also have a lot to prove. So we are going to go there and play positive cricket and look to beat India.”

Since India toured the West Indies in June-July 2011, both nations have squared off against each other in eight Tests and 16 ODIs. However, even though both teams should be very familiar with each other’s gameplans, mentality and approach, West Indies interim head coach Stuart Williams is just grateful that the national team have an opportunity to be playing against a better ranked opposition.

“The calendar is set up as such that once you get the opportunity to play international cricket, we look forward to it,” he said. “India obviously is a high-ranked team and West Indies is hovering in the seventh or eighth position. We look forward to playing India or anybody else. Whichever challenge we get, we are looking forward to that.”

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