|Event:||DLF Cup 2006/07|
DateLine: 16th September 2006
Getting to the final of the tri-series in Malaysia will be crucial for confidence as the West Indies prepares to defend its Champions Trophy title next month, captain Brian Lara has said.
The West Indies have so far won one (against India) and lost one (against Australia) in the DLF Cup and being in the final on September 24 would be a major boost for a side that has plummeted down the world rankings.
"I think it's very important for us to reach the final here," said 37-year-old Lara, in his third stint as captain. "We're playing two of the best teams in the world. We are rated much lower than they are and it is important for us morally, for confidence, to get to the final, to beat one of the teams that are here."
The West Indies were comprehensively beaten by Australia in their first match here, losing their last nine wickets for just 29 runs. But they bounced back and beat India by 29 runs on Thursday on the Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain-hit match. They play Australia again on Monday and India again on Wednesday.
Lara knows that they must make the most of their opportunities ahead of the Champions Trophy in India, where they must go through qualifying due to their fall down the rankings.
"For us, to win is of the utmost importance with the ICC Champions Trophy just around the corner," he said. "When we heard about this tournament we wanted to be here because in the first part of the ICC tournament we will be qualifying with the likes of Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, then going into tough opposition. So playing India and Australia here first is very important to us and getting to the final and winning it will augur well for us."