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Sylvester Joseph, the West Indies vice-captain, said the team, which was missing several key players like Brian Lara, Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan, showed its mettle on the recent tour of Sri Lanka. The team returned to the Caribbean on Tuesday.
They lost the two-match Test series 2-0 and were eliminated from the final of the triangular one-day series after they were beaten by India by a mere seven runs in their last preliminary match. "We set our goals and our plans and we worked towards them and it was so unfortunate we didn't achieve more than we did in terms of winning more matches," said Joseph, who led the side in the last one-dayer in the absence of the injured Shivnarine Chanderpaul. "It was always going to be a challenge for us but I thought that we worked very hard along with the coaching staff."
He said it was an "honour" to captain the team, as he became the fourth Antiguan to lead West Indies, following in the footsteps of the legendary Vivian Richards, Richie Richardson and Ridley Jacobs. "I'm accustomed of captaining. It is different at the international level. As long as you have the basis and you have your mind focused on what the team requires and the objectives I think it becomes easy."
Commenting on the seven-run defeat to India, Joseph praised the knocks of Runako Morton and Denesh Ramdin who hit half-centuries in the Windies run-chase. "They were two superb performances ... I must say well played to the team especially Runako and Ramdin. They showed maturity and fight in their innings. That's what we are looking for as a team and I think if we continue we can achieve a lot."
Joseph however conceded that he could have done better with the bat. He just managed 74 runs in the Indian Oil Cup. "I could have scored more runs. As a batsman that's the most important thing to do. Go out and score runs for your team. We lacked a lot of runs especially in the Test series. We needed someone to step up and give some big scores. We did not put forward our hands and grab the opportunity.
He added: "It was a tremendous experience for me playing in Sri Lanka in tough conditions especially with the team we had because it was very inexperienced."