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Team selection difficult, says Lara

Brian Lara said selecting his team for the first Test against Zimbabwe was difficult because competition for places was intense.

india Updated: Nov 04, 2003 00:00 IST

West Indies cricket captain Brian Lara said Monday selecting his team for the first of two cricket Tests against Zimbabwe starting on Tuesday was difficult because competition for places was intense.

West Indies are certainly flush with batsmen, despite Wavell Hinds and Chris Gayle failing to make significant runs against Zimbabwe A in their warm-up fixture which ended Saturday in a draw.

"There is so much pressing for places that we will find it hard to find a team with just the right balance," Lara told a media conference.

One main point of interest will be the performance of Jerome Taylor, said by the West Indies camp to be an improving, exciting seam bowling prospect, who is becoming faster and more accurate. Taylor took 10 wickets against the Zimbabwe second string.

Certainly the match would not be won and lost on the first day, Lara added.

Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak was upbeat about prospects for a good showing against the Windies.

He thought his side well-balanced, even though several key players were missing through emigration, retirement and injuries, most notably Grant Flower and Douglas Hondo.

Flower had a cast on his broken thumb taken off on Monday and Hondo was still suffering thigh and groin strains.

Streak referred to a good tour by Zimbabwe in England earlier this year and twice taking Australia into the fifth day on their most recent tour.

The record between the teams is West Indies three wins with one draw, which was when Zimbabwe scored 559 runs against them in Bulawayo two years ago.

First Published: Nov 03, 2003 17:57 IST