Victory over Pakistan has left a buzz in the West Indies dressing room, and the members of the team are excited and confident about tonight’s third match against Zimbabwe in a Pool B of the 2015 World Cup at Canberra from 11.30pm (TT time).
“The mood is very good in the dressing room,” said Andre Russell, Man-of-the -Match in the West Indies emphatic 150-run win over Pakistan on Saturday.
“We needed this win after that defeat against Ireland, everyone is laughing and we’re happy with the way we performed. It’s just always a fun dressing room, and I think from the last game things didn’t go well for us, and we just turned up today and wanted to show the world that we are not just a pushover.”
Russell said the players will be looking to continue that momentum against the Zimbabweans. “We have great talent in this team and it is just about putting it all together and coming out and giving our all. We can go all the way in this tournament I think. Every game we go into now we are looking to bring our A game.”
The West Indies players drove over from Sydney to Canberra by bus, a 3 1/2 -hour drive, and yesterday some of the players played golf at the Royal Canberra Golf Course before heading to practice at 2 pm at the beautiful Manuka Oval.
The West Indies have been forced make one change from the team which hammered Pakistan. Injured Darren Bravo will be replaced by Barbadian Jonathan Carter. His inclusion will give the West Indies the added option of another slow bowler.
The West Indies openers have been struggling despite the fact that the team has registered scores of 304/7 against Ireland and 310/6 against Pakistan. However, the last time West Indies played here, Chris Gayle who has struggled on this tour so far, struck 100 against the Prime Minister’s XI and West Indies will be hoping he can emulate that performance.
However, Russell said Gayle’s presence in the squad is having a great impact on team morale.
The left-handed opener has just 43 runs from four innings—including three single digit scores with his latest failure against Pakistan when he scratched around for 14 deliveries over four runs.
“From the warm-up games Chris has been struggling and we’re still scoring 300 runs and he’s not giving us those big performances, even Marlon Samuels who is one of our main batters as well,” Russell pointed out.
“So, I just think when these guys peak at the right time, West Indies has the ability to score over 350. They have been good in the dressing room…the way they keep motivating the team and the team spirit is very good.
“Chris is not moody. Chris is just an amazing guy that you share the changing room with. Even now he’s not scoring and he’s not miserable, he’s not grumpy. He’s happy, he’s laughing, and he’s cheering everyone on the field, and that’s what we want from a big guy like him, so it’s very good.”
The capacity of this ground is 13,550 and the match has been sold out. There were fans trying to get last minute tickets here yesterday but they were not available.
Teams: West Indies: Jason Holder (capt), Marlon Samuels, Sulieman Benn, Darren Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Denesh Ramdin, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Jerome Taylor and Nikita Miller.
Zimbabwe: Elton Chigumbura (capt), Sikandar Raza, Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Chamu Chibhabha, Craig Ervine, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Hamilton Masakadza, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Solomon Mire, Rawanda Mupariwa, Tinashe Panyangara, Brendan Taylor, Prosper Utseya and Sean Williams.