Clive Lloyd, the former West Indies captain, has said the World Twenty20 winning West Indies team should now aim for the “next level” by targeting the No.1 ranking in ODIs. “The win suggests that we can be a good ODI outfit. This is the start, the impetus that we needed to excel in the longer version,” he told Daily News and Analysis.
Lloyd, who led West Indies to World Cup wins in 1975 and 1979, said he expected the team to do well in Sri Lanka, as it had explosive batsmen and decent bowlers who are capable of performing the same way in longer formats. “Out of the 15 big hitters in the world, six belong to our team. They are all phenomenal strikers,” he said. “It gives them impetus on the field. They know they can go out there and dominate.
“That’s what they must do in the longer version too. Apart from Chris Gayle, we have [Marlon] Samuels who’s growing in confidence in both Tests and ODIs. We have a couple of good spinners and decent fast bowlers, basically an attack that can dislodge any opponent. We’re close to being quite a balanced side.”
Lloyd added the team needed to identify its players for different formats. “Someone like Kieron Pollard can do the kind of job Andrew Symonds did for Australia. Pollard is explosive and can be a handful down the order. We have enough bowlers to choose from - both pace and spin.
“At least we have two spinners who are able to confuse the batters,” Lloyd spoke of Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree, both of whom played important roles in Sri Lanka. “In the longer format, we’ll know how good they are. In the one-day game, I don’t think too many people will attack them and be successful.”
West Indies’ T20 title was their first major international success since the 2004 Champions Trophy, but Lloyd said the current team appeared stronger than the 2004 winners. “They are gelling together. They seem to be quite happy when they go out there. Nothing seems to faze them. And they’re showing purpose. You have got to give credit to the captain.”
Lloyd said he was happy to see Gayle back in the team, as he was a “decent fellow” to work with. “Chris just wanted to be back. He looks a really happy soul. Once he is happy, I’m happy. He creates that force and sort of generates the warmth needed for team spirit. I don’t think he’s giving the establishment any problems. They had one little spat.”