Windies ready for challenge at start of Test Series

WEST INDIES v SRI LANKA
1st ERI Cup Test Match
Galle International Stadium, Galle
Monday, November 15 to Friday, November 19
First ball 10 am (12.30 am Eastern Caribbean Time/11.30 pm Sunday Jamaica Time)

Galle, Sri Lanka – West Indies will enter the three-match ERI Cup Test Series confident they can topple Sri Lanka on their home soil. Speaking ahead of the match, skipper Darren Sammy said his players are very well prepared and have the belief that they can win in tough conditions away from home.

“We have prepared well and we believe we have a good chance of success here in Sri Lanka. It’s not easy to win here in Sri Lanka and we know that, but we are willing to work hard and try to ourselves in winning positions. It’s not easy to beat Sri Lanka here and we are aware of that, but it’s not only West Indies, but most teams find it difficult. You saw Sri Lanka just won in Australia where they had never won so we can take a leaf from their book and force an upset. It's an opportunity for the guys to use this as a motivation and go out there and be competitive and consistent,” Sammy said.

“Sri Lanka is a place where lots of runs have been scored,” he said. “If you look at the last few series played here, the batsmen have scored the runs, and it looks like a very good pitch here. In Sri Lanka, the ball also spins, so we have to take that into account and plan accordingly.”

This will be the first Test as captain for the 26-year-old Sammy. The team’s batting will centre around the experienced pair of Shiv Chanderpaul and Chris Gayle. Sammy and fellow allrounder Dwayne Bravo will be key players in both batting and bowling departments.

“I know the players and they have prepared mentally and physically to take up the challenge. We are quite excited and looking forward to the start of the match and the series. There is great interest in this series as we strive to move forward. West Indies cricket carries a great history and a legacy. To lead any West Indies team is exciting,” Sammy said.

Sri Lanka’s coach Trevor Bayliss know the Windies will give his team a stiff challenge.
He said: ”If we are looking at consistency in performance and the rankings, you should say Sri Lanka should win playing at home against West Indies. All their supporters might think we should win but we are not going to win anything unless the boys have prepared not just physically but mentally as well. If we are not ready to play against a very spirited team which is trying to make their way back into the top group of countries in the world it could be a bit of an embarrassment. The boys have got to approach the series with a strong mind and understanding that they will come very hard at us.”

TEAMS
West Indies
: Darren Sammy (Captain), Brendan Nash (Vice Captain), Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh, Sulieman Benn, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Shiv Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle, Nelon Pascal, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Shane Shillingford, Devon Smith, Devon Thomas
Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara (captain), Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Tharanga Paranavitana, Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Prasanna Jayawardene, Thilina Kandamby, Ajantha Mendis, Suraj Randiv, Rangana Herath, Kaushal Silva, Dammika Prasad, Dilhara Fernando, Thilan Thushara, Suranga Lakmal
Umpires: Steve Davis (Australia), Richard Kettleborough (England)
Television umpire: Asad Rauf (Pakistan)
ICC Match Referee: Alan Hurst (Australia)