Complete Team Effort Needed - Ramdin
West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin is not shying away from the challenge of taking on the world's best Test team in South Africa but knows that a "complete team effort" will be required to beat the Proteas.
The opening Test gets underway at Centurion tomorrow (17th December) with Ramdin leading his side for the first time since their acrimoniously abandoned tour of India.
However, with that disappointment now behind them, the team are focussing on their three-Test series against South Africa.
They have begun the tour well, with Sheldon Cottrell, Marlon Samuels and Devon Smith impressing in a rain-shortened tour game against a South African Invitational XI in Benoni.
"We have prepared well. Now is the best place to start as we look to put some performances together…now we have to go out and show that it was meaningful preparation," Ramdin said.
"We have to make sure that we make the most of the hard work we have put in, in the build-up. Trying to beat them is going to be difficult, but we have a confident team and we believe in our ability.
"The last time we played here we won the first Test match and that set-up a very good series. That was due to the self-belief among everyone in the team. I will remind the team of that occasion as we look to start on a positive note."
And Ramdin picked Cottrell out as one of the players he hopes will make an impact in the series.
"The bowling is good and we have some outstanding fast bowlers who will enjoy bowling in these conditions.
"Kemar Roach is ranked among the top bowlers in the world and Jerome Taylor has come back with some excellent performances for us in Test cricket.
"Sheldon Cottrell could be a surprise...at some point he will be a surprise package. If we look at the Australia series, Mitchell Johnson had success against South Africa.
"If Sheldon is in the team, I’m sure he will do something special for us."
Prior to Australia beating them at home earlier this year, South Africa had not lost a home Test series since 2009 and the last time the West Indies beat them in a Test was 2007.
With that in mind, Ramdin knows that his team will need to pull together and be at the top of their game if they are to have any chance of glory.
"They are the Number 1 team and they have been doing some very good things for the past few years and that is what has put them at the top of the rankings," he said.
"So we know it won’t be easy to topple them but it is a challenge we look forward to. We’ve had several meetings and we have planned, and we looked at every member of their team, but we know that we will require a complete team effort to win over here.
"I relish the opportunity as captain to lead from the front. Once everyone does their part, once we put in some good partnerships at the bottom of the order and everyone contributes we can do something special.
"Looking at the pitch, it looks a very good one, come tomorrow morning we will look to get out in the middle and give the South Africans a good challenge."
© Cricket World 2014