Chief selector Clive Lloyd praises defending champions' all-round performance; expects West Indies to spoil Dhoni & Co's perfect run on Friday
Perth: West Indies cricket legend Clive Lloyd was very wholesome in his praise for defending champions India at the Murdoch University Oval yesterday, where the Windies trained for the first time since their arrival in Perth on Sunday.
The Caribbeans face the Men in Blue in a World Cup Group 'B' match on Friday at the Western Australian Cricket Association ground (WACA) here and the former Windies skipper said that his boys know very well what Mahendra Singh Dhoni & Co are made up of.
"India have won three out of three, so we can't fault their bowling or batting. Their middle order is pretty good too. (Virat) Kohli has been excellent. He's been a tremendous player over the last two years and now you have (opener Shikhar) Dhawan coming through. The pace bowling seems quite good and then they have a good spinner in (Ravichandran) Ashwin," two-time world champion Lloyd (70) told reporters here yesterday.
'A formidable side'
The classy former batsman however, hoped that India's luck runs out against the Windies. "India have always been a formidable side, but when you set a standard, people expect you to keep that standard all the time. India are doing well, but I hope they don't do too well on Friday," said Lloyd, who played 110 Tests and 87 ODIs for WI, scoring 7,515 and 1,977 runs at 46.67 and 39.54 respectively.
The West Indies of yesteryear were dominant under Lloyd and always enjoyed bowling at the pacy WACA surface. Lloyd said the pitch still suited his bowlers. "Playing at Perth has always been pretty good. We've been very successful here over the years. This pitch is quite good.
India players celebrate the wicket of Khurram Khan during the tie against UAE on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images
It's got constant bounce and we've got the bowlers to do well," said Lloyd, negating suggestions that the team is too reliant on big-hitter Chris Gayle, who scored a thunderous double century (147-ball 215 against Zimbabwe recently), the first in a World Cup. "I won't say that we are too dependent on Gayle.
Before the Zimbabwe (match) Gayle hadn't really contributed much. Of course, it's great whenever we get a good start with him because he scores rather quickly and is a very strong player. So, whenever he takes off, it gives the team a good impetus."
Decline in pace
The chief selector, though, agreed that this Windies side lacked the sting in the pace department that existed in the past. "It's obvious… we'd love to have fast bowlers like (Andy) Roberts, (Michael) Holding, (Curtly) Ambrose and (Courtney) Walsh, but that can't happen. We've had a bit of a decline, but we have one or two young players coming through. You will hear about them in another year or so."
India's win percentage vs West Indies since the '11 WC