February 1, 2001

Adams in hot seat ahead of final match

PERTH - Jimmy Adams knows tomorrow's must win one-day clash against Zimbabwe will decide his side's finals fortunes and possibly his own future at the helm of the struggling West Indies.

But win or lose, Adams believed he still had plenty to offer as captain.

The Windies have four points on the board and will guarantee a finals berth with victory at the WACA tomorrow.

But should Zimbabwe win, the Windies would almost certainly dip out on net run rate unless Australia thumped Zimbabwe by a considerable margin in the last qualifying game on Sunday.

With grumbles from the Caribbean for his head reaching a roar as the summer has progressed, Adams knew this could be his last game at the helm but refused to look too far down the track.

"Tomorrow will take care of itself, we have a very important game, let's get that done, get it dusted and we'll cross whatever bridge needs crossing after that."

But the veteran left hander, who has led the side to a 5-0 defeat in the Tests and has managed just two wins against Zimbabwe in the one-day series, said the side has progressed under his leadership and would like to continue in the role.

"I'd like to think that I can offer something positive to the position," he said.

"I think one of the most important things we've managed to do is keep the team together.

"I'm not taking full credit for that, a lot goes to the management team who've maintained a positive attitude and kept things from breaking up and fragmenting completely.

"We've been on tours before where things haven't gone well and things have gotten a little bit fragmented."

Adams conceded that a happy team unit alone was not enough to wash over the damning results of a horrendous summer.

However, he said it had enabled the rapid development of young stars such as Marlon Samuels, who may have struggled under the relentless pressure of Steve Waugh's men had the team environment not been positive.

"It's been rough on them, OK, it's been rough on all of us, but obviously so for them starting out," he said.

"But at the same time, looking back on previous tours that haven't gone well, I think they've had a better environment than in the past to come and parade their skills in front of an overseas public."

The Windies were likely to be without rookie paceman Marlon Black, who has a shoulder injury, but all-rounders Laurie Williams and Mahendra Nagamootoo were expected to be fit to play.

Adams believed the Windies experience on the bouncy WACA deck would benefit his team.

"I think that helps, definitely," he said.

"Having a feel for the ground a couple of times on the tour.

"It bounced for the four day game but was pretty flat for the Test.

"I'm not going to put bets on what it's going to do tomorrow but I still think it's going to be a good one-day wicket."

The Zimbabweans has called on former teammate Murray Goodwin for some tips on how to handle the WACA pitch and captain Heath Streak was not prepared to concede the Windies' experience in Perth gave them the edge.

"Certainly it is a little different, a little bit more bounce and pace," he said.

"We've only got today's practice to get used to it, but hopefully they can make the adjustments.

"They are professional players and hopefully they can do that pretty quickly."

Probable teams:

West Indies: Jimmy Adams (captain), Sherwin Campbell, Cameron Cuffy, Daren Ganga, Wavell Hinds, Ridley Jacobs, Brian Lara, Nixon McLean, Mahendra Nagamootoo, Ricardo Powell, Marlon Samuels, Laurie Williams.

Zimbabwe: Heath Streak (captain), Alistair Campbell, Stuart Carlisle, Andrew Flower, Grant Flower, Angus Mackay, Brian Murphy, Bryan Strang, Guy Whittall, Mluleki Nkala, Gavin Rennie, Dirk Viljoen.