West Indies head coach Stuart Law is confident his boys can pose a tough competition to India. @ AFP
West Indies head coach Stuart Law is confident his boys can pose a tough competition to India. @ AFP

Ever since they won a Test series against India at home in 2002, West Indies have suffered a decline in their cricket with only sporadic performances. Windies lost six straight consecutive Test series against India since 2002, but head coach Stuart Law is confident his boys can pose a tough competition to the hosts when the first of the two Tests gets underway in Rajkot on Thursday.

“We spent good eight days [in Dubai] before we came to India. It was 45 degrees during the day in Dubai so heat here won’t be an issue. Then we had a good couple of days in Baroda [the only tour warm-up], the pitch was similar looking to what I see here today. Preparation has been good,” Law said on Tuesday.

“We have talked a lot, but it is time now to stop talking. It is time the boys show what they have got on the field. Touring India has always been tough for teams, we have to show the world that we can play the game and grab hold of those opportunities,” he said.

In the longer format, India enter the series on the back of a humiliating 1-4 defeat against England. Law does not want to read too much into the scoreline as he felt that England just won crucial battles during the match.

“We have spoken a lot [ahead of the series]. We played two good home series against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. At the same time, I don’t read too much into India’s form in England. I was there and watched it closely. It was a lot closer than the 1-4 scoreline. England were just able to win the crucial moments,” he said.

“India are the number one side, we are further down the ladder [at No. 8]. We are playing in their own backyard, it is a huge task. Not many teams have come here and won. We understand that, but on the flipside, we are getting better and better,” he said.

Pace has been West Indies’ strength, but Law, who’s in his last series as coach before he joins Middlesex as coach, said the spinners too can spoil the party for the top Test team, like how Moeen Ali did in England.

“Moeen Ali really took to India in England, bowling into footholes. We got to use what is available. Roston Chase is a bit taller than Ali, bowls at similar pace. Devendra Bishoo and Jomel Warrican have got some good control as well. Pace has been our strong point, but the spinners can also do the job,” he said.

However, bowling to India skipper Virat Kohli will be tough, Law said. “He is great in other countries and not just in India. Kohli is a great batsman. Like I said it is not bowling to the name, it is about bowling to the batsman, then your job becomes a bit easier. And he is not the only one in the batting line up. You guys have got billions of people to choose from and the batters who are coming through are the best in the world,” he said.

Asked how good the West Indies opening pair of Kraigg Brathwaite and Kieran Powell, are Law said: “Look, we are seeing a pattern arise that batting at the top three and four has become quite difficult. We are in a similar position. Kraigg and Kieran have opened the batting plenty of times together and they have been good so far here, they are in good head space.

“We have got our plans obviously and the boys have to show it in front of fanatical crowds against the world number one team. Something we should enjoy and not fear,” he said.