Barath believes World Cup is anyone's tournament
Adrian Barath, the West Indies opener, has said the 2011 World Cup gives West Indies the opportunity of showcasing their performances on the world stage and a chance to get back to what they were about two decades ago.
"We fancy our chances and it's good to have our name back on top of world cricket and showcase our performances at the world stage. There is no better place to do it than the World Cup. It starts right here acclimatising to the conditions similar to India where most of our games will be played. We will definitely be looking forward to having a good World Cup.
"My personal thoughts on the World Cup are that the team clicking at that point of time will win it. To me it's anyone's tournament right at this point of time. The West Indies are looking at another World Cup win."
Barath who hails from Trinidad, the same island as the great Brian Lara, was thrilled to score his first hundred in ODI cricket in the first game of the ODI series against Sri Lanka. "It was a great moment for me and for West Indies cricket because it's been a while since a century has been scored in Sri Lanka in an ODI. It was special for me. I had my eyes set on an ODI century last year but unfortunately the series got called off. Thankfully the series did come off and it happened. I am thankful for the opportunity that came to me to score the hundred."
Helping 20-year-old Barath achieve his maiden ODI hundred was the experienced middle-order batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan. "I am a junior player and I try to learn as much from the senior players. Sarwan is someone who really showed me the way. Every so often he would come down the pitch and have a word with me."
Opening the batting with Chris Gayle, who is very different from Barath physically, as well as in his approach to the game, makes it difficult for opposing bowlers to settle. "With a left-hand right-hand combination and as he is tall and I am short it is difficult for bowlers to rally and strike their lengths especially if we are rotating the strike.
"Gayle is someone who has been in the team for a while and I have grown up seeing Gayle playing for West Indies. It's an inspiration for me basically to start my career and bat with someone like Chris. He is someone who can take the attack to the bowlers and I can play that role as well but on the day Chris really gets going I am prepared to play the supporting role."
Barath added that Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga was one to watch during the World Cup. "We all know that Malinga is a world class bowler in this version of the game and in T20. We all know his unique action. Most of the guys are not used to it but at the end of the day we are going to be looking at footage of Lasith and ways of playing him.
"As a team already we have looked at these things but he is on spot at the moment and any player on spot is a force to be reckoned with. All credit to him, he's been bowling well and he has good form at the moment. We'll be definitely looking to counteract his bowling."