The West Indies captain Brian Lara insists his team will not crumble when they face defending champions Australia in the opening match of the Super Eights here on Tuesday.
West Indies, bidding to become the first host nation to win the World Cup, could not have chosen a more menacing opponent. Australia cruised to victory in all of their three Group A first-round matches, scoring over 300 runs in each and saving their best for last by scoring 377 against world number one and bitter rivals South Africa.
Lara intends to fight fire with fire when the two sides meet at the new Sir Viv Richards Stadium. "I know it is a different class of opponents in the game on Tuesday, but we've played well against Australia in the recent past and we expect to do well if we play to our strengths," said Lara.
His side beat Australia in the Champions Trophy group games in India in 2006, when seamer Jerome Taylor grabbed four wickets and Runako Morton top-scored with 90.
However, Australia had the last laugh in the final with an eight-wicket win.
Lara fell to the classic Aussie one-two in that game - caught Gilchrist, bowled McGrath - but believes the West Indies, buoyed by three wins in the World Cup so far and lifted by home support, are a better side now. "We are very consistent. We're building to the point where we want to get onto the bigger games, the Australians, the South Africans, the biggest teams in the event. So far we've performed really well. I'm proud of the guys," he said.