Richardson looks to motivate inexperienced West Indies ahead of Aussie series
BRISBANE, Australia (CMC):
Team manager Richie Richardson says the West Indies, dominated by a crop of young players, must maintain a strong and positive outlook as they confront the mighty Australia in a threematch Test series starting next week.
The largely inexperienced and lowly ranked West Indies Test team, led by 23-year-old captain Jason Holder, is considered underdogs to the top-ranked Aussies, who are overwhelming favourites to sweep the series despite the absence of some key players, including front-line pacer Mitchell Starc, who is injured.
"Obviously, Australia is a top side, they have top players, world-class players. But on any given day you can get the better of somebody and you've got to back yourself, you've got to believe that you can get somebody out, you have to believe you can score a hundred against the best bowlers in the world," said Richardson.
"When I speak to the players, that's how I talk to them. It does not matter who you are playing against. It does not matter how good somebody is. You've got to believe you can get the better of them, and if you do that then you start to gain respect, and you will find yourself at the same level with them, probably even past them."
The West Indies squad for the tour does not include their biggest-name players, who instead will be in Australia for the Big Bash League.
Just four of the West Indies' 15-man squad have played Test cricket in Australia - batsman Marlon Samuels, fast bowlers Kemar Roach and Jerome Taylor, and wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin.
Of the rest, the only one to have played any international cricket in Australia, including last summer's World Cup, is Holder.
"We have a young team that we are grooming and we just hope they would gather as much experience in playing Australia. Australia is a great place to play cricket; great facilities, great weather and the cricket is very competitive," said Richardson.
"So the young players will be looking to gain as much experience as possible and try and compete with Australia. We've got to be positive, it's a game of cricket and we are playing at the highest level. We are professionals so we just have to work hard, train hard and back ourselves."
Richardson was speaking as the players prepared for a warm-up match ahead of the three-Test Frank Worrell Trophy Series. The match against Cricket Australia XI started yesterday evening at the Allan Border Field at 10 a.m. (8 p.m. Eastern Caribbean time/7 p.m. Jamaica time).