West Indies have not won a series in India in nearly four decades but head coach Stuart Law believes the Caribbean side can still spring a surprise in the two-Test series starting next week.
The Jason Holder-led squad arrived here Wednesday following a 10-day camp in Dubai, and will open their tour when they take on an Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) President’s XI in a two-day match starting Saturday at the Gujarat State Fertilizer Corporation Ground.
“India aren’t going to be easy. They are the number one Test team in the world for a particular reason. We have to play really well to not only get into the contest but also we can pressure them into mistakes,” Law said.
“We are going there to compete, we are going to keep fighting till the very end. Just never know what can happen.”
The last time West Indies on the subcontinent was when the legendary Clive Lloyd oversaw his star-studded side’s 3-0 win over Kapil Dev’s side, in a six-Test series back in 1983.
Further, West Indies have not beaten India in a Test series in 16 years, following their come-from-behind 2-1 victory in a five-Test rubber in 2002 on Caribbean soil.
Significantly, the Windies also have not won a single Test against India since then, losing 10 of the last 19 outings.
Law pointed out that if West Indies were to taste success on the tour, much would rest with the top order, whose inconsistency has been a major problem.
“Our top six are going to stick their hand up and score the big runs, they are capable of doing so,” the Australian said.
“If we can put runs on the board we can create pressure by giving the bowlers something to work.”
West Indies have not had the smoothest build-up to the series. They lost fast bowler Alzarri Joseph to fitness concerns before the side left the Caribbean and earlier this week, and new-ball seamer Kemar Roach was forced to return home due to a family bereavement, and will now be in a race against time to be available for the opening Test starting next Thursday.
The Windies were also forced to train in Dubai because of the unavailability of venues in India and just days ago, Law announced he would be quitting the side at year end following the tour of India and Bangladesh immediately following.