Conditions to play a big role in Champions Trophy: Sarwan

Cardiff (Wales), May 29 (IANS/CMC) West Indies middle order batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan has cautioned that conditions could play a major part in determining the outcome of matches in the Champions Trophy which starts in England and Wales next week.

Sarwan, who joined the Windies camp Monday after spending a month with Leicestershire in the English County circuit, says younger members of the squad will have to make quick adjustments.

"The conditions will play a part as well with the ball swinging and we will have to make the necessary adjustment with the bat," Sarwan said Tuesday.

"For the younger guys it will be vital that they get used to the conditions and be ready when the matches get started."

The 32-year-old cricketer says he is focused and full of confidence as he prepares for the eight-team tournament from June 6-23.

"It is important that you start off trying to play the ball as 'late' as possible. The key is to give yourself a chance and try to 'get in' and just like everything else it gets easier," said Sarwan who made his international debut 13 years ago and has appeared in 179 One-Day Internationals.

"That will be the key...to keep wickets in hand at the top and we all know we have a lot of power at the end to capitalise, as we are able to clear the boundaries."

Sarwan played a key role when the West Indies won their only ICC Champions Trophy back in 2004.

The stylish right-hander was Player of the Series with some outstanding batting performances at the top of the order when the Windies stunned the world to win the trophy.

"It would be a great achievement to win this tournament. We want to repeat that," said Sarwan who has an impressive record of 5,802 runs at an average of over 43 runs per innings, including five centuries.

"When we won back in 2004 we came in as underdogs. We did really well in the T20 format to win in Sri Lanka last year and I believe we have a very sound squad for this tournament."

Sarwan returned to the regional side for the limited overs series against Australia earlier this year after 18 months and a long- running feud with the West Indies team management.

His low scores including a series of ducks were among the lowlights of a losing series for the West Indies.

However he appears to be showing some improvement in his batting lately and recent scores include a top score of 120 not out against Zimbabwe in Grenada.

"I have been striking the ball well. I have spent a lot of time batting at the crease, which is a good sign for me, even though I don't have the big scores to show for it," said the Guyanese cricketer.

--IANS/CMC

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