JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, CMC – West Indies captain Floyd Reifer is urging his players to focus on improving their game as they head into their last Champions Trophy group phase match on Wednesday against India.
In spite of their 0-2 record and bottom-of-the-table status, West Indies – without their top flight players because of a players’ dispute with the board – are entering Wednesday’s Group A match with their heads up.
“We have played pretty well. The important thing for us is to know that we are improving,” Reifer said.
The depleted Windies had been listed as huge underdogs ahead of the tournament, but delivered fairly competitive performances in their losses to reigning World Twenty20 champions Pakistan and Australia, the current World Cup holders.
They bowled very well in their five-wicket defeat at the hands of Pakistan in the first match and lost to the Australians by 50 runs after having the defending champions on 171 for seven at one stage.
Reifer said the players can be proud of their efforts so far but they will be looking for more improvement and another big effort when they face the Indians.
“From the first game to this one we have gotten better, as a team and as individuals. Looking at the two games we’ve played,” he said.
“Against Pakistan if we had 40 more runs, things could have been different and against Australia we were in the game into the 40th over. It’s been a great effort,” Reifer said.
The West Indies will have two more training sessions at the St David’s School in Johannesburg before the next game on Wednesday and Reifer said the players will be looking to do more mental and physical preparation.
“As we play as a team, stick together and keep working hard, improving our skills, we will get better. We must show improvement, though. We still have more time to prepare and improve our skills and our mental attitude. Getting to international standards is all about the mental attitude,” the skipper added.
“We try to encourage the players to learn and learn fast. This is international cricket and not like domestic cricket we play back at home. We talk a lot. We talk through situations that are going to happen in the game and we ask the guys to improve, to talk cricket, to improve their all-round game – batting, bowling and fielding,” Reifer said.
Wednesday’s match against India will be a day/night contest at the Wanderers, scheduled to start at 2.30 pm local time (8.30 am Eastern Caribbean Time/7.30 am Jamaica Time).