Ahead of the last ODI against India, Windies fielding coach Nic Pothas Wednesday said the visiting team is in India not just to compete, but also learn from their fancied opponents.
Unlike the Test series, Windies have India a good run for their money in the ODIs. The way the Test series began, very few would have expected the visitors to trouble India in the 50-over format. However, Windies exceeded all the expectations and even threatened to take the lead in the series at one stage.
In the first ODI, they scored 323 but ended up losing the game. In the following game, they nearly chased down India’s 321 but the game ended in a thrilling tie. The third game finally saw them beat India as they thrashed the hosts by 43 runs. However, they proved no match for the Men in Blue in the fourth game, losing the game by 224 runs while chasing an improbable 377.
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But Windies still have a chance of drawing the series. They currently trail the series 2-1 and a win in the last ODI will see them register a morale-boosting series draw.
And ahead of the series-finale, Nic Pothas said that India are a great team to learn from.
“They’re a great team to learn from. We don’t just play against India, we learn from them too. These are great opportunities when you come and play against teams of this quality,” Pothas said on the eve of the last ODI.
Asked if they have any special plans to counter Indian captain Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, Pothas said the focus is not just on the in-form duo.
“Look, if I had special plans, which I do, I’m certainly not going to put them out in the media. But having said that, they’re world-class cricketers. You can’t go without mentioning guys like Shikhar Dhawan. Rayudu is in form. Lots of fantastic players – that’s what you get with such a strong team,” he said.
Pothas further shifted his focus to the Windies team, saying that the experienced team is learning all the time and is getting better.
“It is a very young team. Not just from an international point of view but a volume of 50-over cricket point of view. I think like anything, when you play at this level, whatever sport it might be, it’s always going to come down to execution over a long period of time.
“Our guys are learning all the time and they’re having to learn at international level, which is never easy. But they’re getting better all the time and importantly they’re open to that learning. We’re very positive,” he said.
He concluded by once again reiterating the importance of touring India as player and coach, saying:
“It’s a possibility. Travelling to India is always a wonderful tour. It’s a great tour to judge yourself as a player and as a coach. It’s a great place to let yourself know where exactly you’re at with your cricket.”
The fifth and final ODI will get underway on Thursday (November 1) in Thiruvananthapuram.