Skipper Taylor says official warm-ups critical to preparation

LEICESTER, England, CMC – Captain Stafanie Taylor has placed a high premium on her side’s two official warm-up games as West Indies Women chase form and confidence ahead of their crucial opening match of the ICC World Cup against reigning champions Australia next Monday.

The Caribbean side clash with Pakistan Women at Grace Road here today in the first of those official warm-up matches, hoping to turn the page on some pretty ordinary form that has seem them lose three preparation games in the last two weeks.

West Indies Women’s captain Stafanie Taylor chats with head coach Vasbert Drakes during a training session. (Photo courtesy CWI Media)

“The good thing about the World Cup is that you have warm-up games where you basically get a feel of your team and you move on from there,” Taylor said here yesterday.

“We have our first warm-up game on Tuesday and we will be basically looking at getting ready for our first game on the 26th.”

She added: “We played two practice games [in Southampton] and the results didn’t come the way we wanted but we have [these] two warm-up games were we definitely need to improve and win both games leading into the first game against Australia.”

West Indies lost to a strong England XI and a Southern Vipers side – the Twenty20 outfit based at Hampshire Cricket Club’s home of Ageas Bowl.

More recently last Friday, the Windies crashed to a five-wicket defeat to India Women in another disappointing outing.

With their opening game of the preliminary round fast approaching, Taylor said her side needed to pay attention to fundamentals if they were to succeed in the tournament.

“I think we need to do all the three components well – bat, field and bowl – if we definitely want to win,” the Jamaican pointed out.

“And we have to keep the support going whether we win, lose or draw. We have to stay together as a team.”

West Indies have been installed as one of the favourites to win the tournament, especially after being good enough to reach the final of the last showpiece four years ago in India.

And Taylor said with three weeks of preparation having been already put in, it was now time for West Indies to execute.

“It’s all about belief. A couple of our players played in these conditions before and we know what it is like,” she said. “We did all the hard work so I think it is about going out there and executing.”

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