India cannot be underestimated: West Indies skipper Merissa Aguilleira

West Indies take on India in the first match of the tournament tomorrow and captain Merissa Aguilleira said that the host nation has the ability to be crowned champions © AFP

Mumbai: Jan 30, 2013

West Indies women’s team skipper Merissa Aguilleira doesn’t want to underestimate hosts India in the upcoming Women’s World Cup even though they won the bilateral series against Mithali Raj and Co last year.

“Definitely, the tournament in West Indies was a good one. It was fought well by both teams. I think the team has been performing very well. They have developed and played a lot of cricket. I don’t think you can underestimate any of the teams, even India. We just have to continue to do what we do and just stick to the basics,” she told reporters at the press conference.

West Indies had defeated visitors 2-1 during their bilateral series early last year.

West Indies take on India in the first match of the tournament tomorrow and the captain said that the host nation has the ability to be crowned champions.

“They are a great team. Mithali and Goswami have very good leadership qualities. They are a very good team. They have the ability to win this World Cup, but as I said, you can’t underestimate the other teams,” she said.

Aguilleira, who used to be a hair stylist, said her team is here to compete for the title, unlike four years ago, when they participated to gain experience.

“Well, during last edition, we were participants. The reason I am saying we took part is because we were lacking a lot of experience. We went into the tournament as underdogs.

But I guess, we have gained a lot of experience from 2009 to now. We are not taking part anymore, we are competing now,” she said.

The Trinidadian said that her team’s strength lies in he fact that they have five spinners, who can use the turning tracks in India to their advantage.

“I must say we are an all-round team. We have five spinners, which has worked really well for us. We will continue to make sure that we have an impact team. Cricket is not about one individual, it is a team thing. We have a compact team and we are ready to go,” she said.

“India is a place, where we are more likely to play spin. But what I heard from Mithali during the press conference, is that they are trying to give the tournament a good show (with batting wickets). The pitch will be at a faster pace and eventually, it will deteriorate as the tour goes on,” she added.

Asked about the presence of twins Kycia Knight (wicketkeeper) and Kyshona Knight (left-hand batsman and right-arm spinner) in the team, she said, “Even though they are twins, they are two different characters. Kyshona is more outspoken than Kycia. I think on the field they are the same.

“Yes, you get mixed up, but as time goes by I think it is about understanding and getting to know them. They are good players and it is great to have them.”

On the twins’ ability to play football as well, she said, “The first time I interacted with the twins was for their under-23 regional. A year after they were out of cricket. It was a bit of concern for me, because I was wondering why they were out of cricket.

“They got scholarship to play football abroad. God has given them a lot of talent and they are using it. They realised that their passion lies in cricket, so they came back and are in the West Indies team.”