Bullish Powell predicts 3-0 to West Indies
The West Indies fast bowler, Daren Powell, has confidently predicted a 3-0 win in the forthcoming Test series against England, as well as winning the subsequent one-day series.
"England made some comments about us after our last tour of England, following our success in the one-day series, that they could not wait to return to the Caribbean," Powell told the Jamaica Observer. "I am definitely looking for a 3-0 series win over England in the Test series, and we are going to beat them also in the one-day series."
England may be a side in transition, newly led by Andrew Strauss, but despite Powell's bullish claims it is the tourists who enter the series as favourites. Not since 2000 have West Indies beaten them, in the first Test at Edgbaston, yet they went on to lose the series with a string of spectacular collapses, prompted by a fine seam attack of Andrew Caddick, Darren Gough and Dominic Cork.
Powell, like the West Indies, is under pressure. After 32 Tests he averages 46.22 (and just 7 with the bat), and for all his unstinting enthusiasm and peserverence, his control has been found wanting - and, crucially, his emotions have often impacted on his performances. In West Indies' recent tour of New Zealand, he was easily riled by Brendon McCullum's outrageous confidence, flinging the ball back past the batsman, and McCullum got the better of him in the one-day series too.
Powell's inclusion surprised many, but the bowler himself is bubbling with confidence.
"I am fit and ready to go, and I know that my teammates are anxious to prove that we are good enough to beat them," Powell said. "I have more confidence in what I do now. It is up to me to go back to the nets and sharpen up for the challenges ahead. I want to improve my game even further and get more wickets."
England's final warm-up match gets underway on Thursday, ahead of the first Test next week in Jamaica.