Colombo, Sri Lanka – West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan believes that partnerships will be a key factor in winning the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup. The 30-year-old said that the teams which play the best "team cricket" and build "good partnerships with bat and ball" will be successful.
"As a team we know we have to build good partnerships when we bat and look to post big scores. When we bowl, we have to bowl in pairs… in partnerships, and support each other in the outfield as well. This will help us to improve as a team," he said.
"I am confident we will do well. It is a matter of us playing well as a unit and supporting each other. This is going to be a very important tournament for us. We have been preparing well and we will look to take that preparation into the World Cup. No matter the conditions I expect us to do well."
The West Indies will have their second official warm-up match on Tuesday against Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium before heading to Delhi for their opening World Cup match against South Africa.
Last Saturday the Windies beat Kenya by 61 runs, with Sarwan leading the way with a stroke-filled 123 off 125 balls. He hit 11 boundaries and five sixes.
"I was happy with the fact that I ‘went through’ and batted to the end of the innings after we did not get a good start. My goal was to bat all the way to the end and make sure we got a competitive score. I am happy with the way I’m hitting the ball and I will look to take this form into the World Cup."
In his career so far Sarwan has scored 5,245 runs in 159 One Day International at an average of 44.07. He marked his return to the Windies line-up with two half-centuries in the recent three-match ODI Series against Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club. The West Indies however lost the series 2-0 with the other match being abandoned due to rain
Looking ahead to the World Cup he added: "We are focused on what we have to do. At the moment we can’t control what people want to say about us. Our focus is to play well as a team and I’m sure if we do that everything else will take care of itself. We have to control the things we have control over and not worry too much about what is being said."
The Cricket World Cup will start with the opening ceremony in Dhaka on Thursday. The first match will be on Saturday with Bangladesh facing India in Dhaka. West Indies have been drawn in Group B alongside India, South Africa, England, Bangladesh, Ireland and the Netherlands.
SQUAD: Darren Sammy (captain), Dwayne Bravo (Vice Captain), Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh, Sulieman Benn, Darren Bravo, Shiv Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle, Nikita Miller, Kieron Pollard, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Devon Smith
WORLD CUP SCHEDULE
Tuesday, Feb 15: v Sri Lanka (R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo)
Group stage matches
Thursday, Feb 24: v South Africa (Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi)
Monday, Feb 28: v Netherlands (Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi)
Friday, Mar 4: v Bangladesh (Shere Bangla Stadium, Dhaka)
Friday, Mar 11: v Ireland (Punjab C.A. Stadium, Mohali)
Thursday, Mar 17: v England (MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai)
Sunday, Mar 20: v India (MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai)