Chanderpaul okay with underdogs tag

Published: Saturday, February 19, 2011, 0:00 [IST]
 

New Delhi, Feb 18 (PTI) West Indies batsman ShivnarineChanderpaul is comfortable with the "underdogs" tag with whichthe former champions would go into the 2011 World Cup, kickingoff in Dhaka tomorrow.

"We are the underdogs and that''s fine with us. We werethe underdogs when we reached the final of the ChampionsTrophy in 2006 in India. We are well prepared and are justwaiting to go out and get the job done," said Chanderpaul.

"The team has been working hard for the past couple ofmonths. We have put in lot of work with the new coach and weassessed our performance when we played the ODI series in SriLanka in January," says the veteran left-hander, who will bemaking his fifth World Cup appearance.

West Indies will play their first World Cup match againstformidable South Africa on February 24 here.

The team practiced for three-hours here at the Air ForceGround where the focus was mainly on the batting and fieldingaspect.

The team''s recent outings against Test-playing nations inthe 50-over game do not make pretty reading as they have notwon a match in over 18 months but coach Ottis Gibson said theteam can go a long way in the World Cup.

"We have the team, which can go all the distance. Everymatch is important for us. Yes people are not giving us achance. That is because West Indies have not given goodresults in recent years. But that gives us an opportunity togo out there and prove everyone wrong. We can stay focussed onour job and surprise a few people," said Gibson.

Gibson, on their high-profile clash against South Africa,said the team knows how to approach the game and not to repeatthe past mistakes.

"We played South Africa at home last year. Though we lostthe series 0-5, there were a lot of moments where we had theopposition in trouble. It''s just that we were not able to takeadvantage of those situations. So we know how to approach thegame and not repeat those mistakes," said Gibson, a formerfast bowler.

Chandrepaul, 36, said the spinners will play an importantrole on sub-continent wickets.

"Of course spin will play an important role in thesub-continent. We saw that in the warm-up games. We have to beready for these things. We have played in the sub-continentand we know what to expect."

On his role as an experienced player in the side,Chanderpaul said, "I will be batting with the younger playersthere and I know my approach. I will be there with them for aslong as I can."

Gibson said their World Cup campaign will depend a lot onhow senior players perform.

"We have Chris Gayle, who can be destructive on his day.

We have the experience of Chanderpaul, who will be playing hisfifth World Cup. Ramnaresh Sarwan is one of our top playersand we know he can go out there and score a lot of runs,"Gibson said.

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