COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, (CMC):
The West Indies cricket team have been seeking to perfect fielding as they continue preparation ahead of their first match in the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka.
Players have been attending long sessions focusing on various fielding drills, including diving at backward point, hitting the stumps from mid-on and mid-off, and catching.
Darren Sammy's men open their campaign with a game against Australia on Saturday at the R Premadasa stadium in Colombo
"In Twenty20 cricket fielding plays a massive part. The game changes quickly and if you can take that great diving catch or create the run-outs ... it's the difference between winning and losing," said assistant coach Toby Radford.
"So we really want to get the guys as sharp as possible. When we left Barbados we really were peaking with our fielding, we just want to get back up to speed so I did a long session."
Intensive training camp
The West Indies cricketers were taking a break from field training yesterday but were expected to be involved in gym training.
An intensive nine-day training camp in Barbados and warm-up matches against Sri Lanka and Afghanistan have been part of their preparation as well.
Radford, a former Middlesex and Sussex batsman, says fielding positions have already been allocated.
"There is no question in Twenty20 cricket, in the earlier part you want your best fielders in the ring, and then as the game goes on you want to get the quick ones on the boundary to save the fours and the twos," said the former Middlesex coach, whose brief playing career amounted to 14 first-class matches.
"So I think we are at that stage now when we know who is going where at what stage."
The Caribbean side, considered among the favourites, will today and tomorrow focus on final preparations to meet their Australian opponents, who they defeated when the two sides last met.
"I think we are going to be all right, just by the end of the week we should be perfect."