Windies will win the World Cup: Walsh
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Windies will win the World Cup: Walsh

The first bowler to take over 500 Test wkts says that Windies are moving in the right direction, reports G Krishnan.

india Updated: Nov 10, 2006 20:23 IST
G Krishnan

Courtney Walsh believed on Friday that his team, the West Indies, would win the World Cup in their islands next year. In Mumbai as the ambassador of Jamaica, which will host four warm-up matches, the opening match, five other first-round matches and a semifinal at Kingston besides the opening ceremony at the Trelawny multi-purpose stadium, Walsh believed that the Caribbeans were in heading in the right direction. The first bowler to take over 500 Test wickets, the 44-year-old Walsh spoke at length on diverse cricketing matters on Friday. Excerpts:

On what makes him say with confidence that West Indies will win the World Cup…

The current team, though with a lot of inexperience, is coming of age right now. Their experience in the team will be very helpful. The time is right for the players to shine and it is best for them to shine at home. World Cup is a big experience. I just feel that they are going to get it right by the World Cup.

On the current Windies pace attack…

It is inexperienced. One of the major problems we have been having is injuries. For the first time, some of the guys have played a couple of tours without getting injured. That is heading in the right direction. Once they can be injury free, they have the best chance of performing. The potential of the cricketers is very good. I am confident they are going to do well.

On what fast bowlers need to do to avoid being injured…

Once you play a lot of cricket, the chance of getting injured is going to be there. What you need to do is to look after your body, train hard and make sure you stretch properly and do the basics.

On fellow Jamaican and Windies’ only hat-trick bowler in ODIs, Jerome Taylor…

He was very keen to learn when he came on the scene. I spoke with him quite a lot and did a lot of work with him. When he got injured, he still kept in touch. He has always been ready to shine. When I saw him first, he was probably the best potential we had that would go for a long time. He is on the right path. I can assure sure that once he stays fit, big things will happen for Jamaica and the West Indies will be proud of him.

Thoughts on Indian bowlers and his advice to them during the World Cup…

In the West Indies tracks are good for batting. The Indian pace attack needs to have depth and a bit of versatility. If you have someone with the ball doing something early on, it is the best chance to get early wickets because once the batsman settles in, a lot of runs will be scored. You need someone who can swing the ball early on, like the way Javagal Srinath did.

On Clive Lloyd’s presence in the team as an advisor…

A couple of years ago I said that the team needed some guy it could look up to and who best than the father figure Lloyd, who has been there, who knows everything about the game, who knows how to sort out things and who helps the guys. That experience will be called upon.

On Brian Lara batting lower down the order during Champions Trophy…

Perhaps, he was not backing himself. Am not too sure why he had to do that. He was perhaps showing more solidarity. First and foremost, knowing what he had to offer, I’d like to see him at a fixed position in the batting order, may be at number four where he can dictate things.

On Chris Gayle and his role in the team…

He is one of the most dangerous player in ODIs. Being Jamaican and him based in Jamaica during the World Cup, hopefully he will not disappoint the fans. Hope we will see more vintage Chris Gayle. At the same time, some of the other batsmen have to come good and support him. Brian (Lara) is not in the best of form at present. If you can get Brian back in form and have a couple of other batsmen to support Gayle, West Indies team will be very very happy.

On more bowlers crossing 500 Test wickets these days…

I said (Muttiah) Muralitharan could get to a 1000. Shane Warne is going to get past 700. Am not sure how many more years Shane will play. Am sure if Murali is hungry enough, he could get to 1000. Looking at the amount of cricket played now and the standard of the game, that is not impossible.

If the standard of fast bowling was on the decline…

I would not agree so. What has happened is that the quality of Shane Warne and Muralitharan has overshadowed the fast bowlers. The consistency might be lacking among the fast bowlers. When someone like Jerome Taylor gets experience, obviously he will know to deal with it. The more experience you are, the more competent you become. If you look at the nature of pitches fast bowlers play on, the tracks are more in favour of the batsman.

On Sachin Tendulkar, who was named among the Asian heroes by Time (Asia) magazine …

His record speaks for himself. I don’t think anyone can question that. I can only say that Sachin if he was a West Indian would probably have got the same fame. He is a fantastic player. I don’t want to compare him and Brian Lara as to who is the best batsman in the world today. All I can say is that Brian is the best player I have in my team when we played and Sachin is the best I have played against. Whatever Sachin gets from the game, he deserves. It is tremendous for world cricket.

First Published: Nov 10, 2006 19:26 IST