India tour a learning curve for the young Windies team: Pothas

Nic Pothas, the West Indies assistant coach, said his team is on a learning curve and India is a tough country to play against.

Pothas says this India tour is an ideal preparation for the upcoming series ahead.   -  B. Jothi Ramalingam

Time was when West Indies was the envy of rest of the world with its swashbuckling batsmen and never ending array of fast bowlers. But times have changed, the Windies are no longer a force in world cricket in the longer format, though it is still a force to reckon with in the shorter version.

The current young squad from the Caribbeans didn’t fare well in the Test series in India but proved competitive in the shorter format. They almost won a one-day match, before it ended in a tie, and then beat India to force the series into the decider though it still trails 1-2.

Nic Pothas, the West Indies assistant coach, said his team is on a learning curve and India is a tough country to play against. He said the tough Indian tour was an ideal preparation for the young team which will be playing soon in Bangladesh and against England in West Indies.

"India is a great team to learn from. They have quality batsman and enough bench strength. We just don’t play against India but learn from this team. It is a great opportunity for the players to learn when they play against teams of this quality," he said.

The former South African wicketkeeper who was in India with the Sri Lankan team last year is positive about his team's chances in the series decider against India at the Sports Hub, Kariyavattom.

Pothas said the young guys in the team were responding well to the challenges of International cricket and probably what the team lacked was execution of plans.

"It is very young team not just from international point of view but from the podium of 50 over cricket. I think when you play a game at this level whatever sport it may be it always comes to execution (of plans) for a longer period of time. We have seen that we can execute it for a short period of time. The challenge is to execute it for 100 overs.

"If you want to beat India, England, Australia, South Africa, Pakistan we need to execute the plan for 100 overs and that requires skill, physical ability and fitness. You need to be fit to play in this conditions. The young guys are coping up with challenges well. It is difficult at international level but they are doing it," he said.

Pothas also lauded the Windies' captain Jason Holder, who has led from the front and as a player his contribution has been admirable. "Jason is a world-class performer. He leads by example, a leader of his group and he commands a lot of respect. His performance speaks for itself and is vital for the team. But he is a human being and not a robot to perform consistently for 365 days a year. He needs rest but we don’t have quality player to replace him," he said.