India arrived in the Caribbean yesterday admitting they face a challenge in winning their first series away from the sub-continent in almost a decade.

It's an admission that comes even in the face of the West Indies' recent string of defeats, especially on overseas tours.

"We'll have to play good cricket to win the series", vice-captain Rahul Dravid told reporters in the Club Caribbean Lounge at Grantley Adams International Airport.

"The West Indies haven't done very well of late. They have not lost too much at home. Their record at home hasn't been very bad at all. Having said that, I think it's going to be a good series."

Dravid was speaking in the absence of captain Saurav Ganguly, who remained at home with his ill wife. Ganguly is due to arrive on Thursday.

"It is going to be an evenly-matched series. I think the West Indies have the advantage of playing at home," he said.

The pressure is going to be on them because, in a sense, they have got to live up to the expectations of the people at home. We've got all to play for.

While India have been tough to beat at home, they often find it rough on overseas tours and they have to go back to the 1993 tour of Sri Lanka when they managed a 1-0 series win for their last success outside of India.

Their last series win outside of Asia dates back to 1986 when they had a 2-0 triumph in England.

Coach John Wright, the former New Zealand opening batsman, promised an exciting brand of cricket from a team that includes four survivors from the 1997 trip to the Caribbean.

"If we play to our potential, we are capable of beating the best," he said.

"We will be an attractive side to watch. Playing here is tough, but as Rahul mentioned, any side in home conditions are more comfortable."

Wright was a key member of the New Zealand side which toured the Caribbean in 1985 and he said it was a tremendous place to play cricket.

"It's a little bit like India. There is great love of cricket here, certainly a great knowledge from the spectators," he said.

It's a great opportunity for us as a side. We have the opportunity to win away from home for [the first time in] a long time.

"From our point of view, it is a challenge".

The average man will be keen to bill the series as a showdown between India's gem Sachin Tendulkar and champion West Indies batsman Brian Lara.

"As a coach, one doesn't like to focus on individuals as such", Wright said.

"They are two great players. I am sure they have a lot of respect for each other. But we have some other players who are capable of winning series and influencing series".

India will play the West Indies in a series of five Tests and a similar number of One-Day Internationals.

The opening Test, which starts in Guyana on April 11, will be preceded by a warm-up three-day match against a Guyana Cricket Board President's XI beginning on Friday at the Everest Club.