| Rahul Dravid reacts as India loses the one-day series on Friday. (Reuters)
Port of Spain, May 27: Iconic sports psychologist Dr Rudi Webster has a job on his hands: he has to ensure the Indians’ shoulders don’t droop in the manner they did last evening when the West Indies (a team he was once closely associated with) won the fourth ODI and the series with lots ' six wickets and as many overs ' to spare.
While the Indians presented a lousy picture, West Indies captain Brian Lara was in high spirits at the Queen’s Park Oval. So much so he took questions from the media (including The Telegraph) for well over 20 minutes.
Lara was as classy as he’d been on the field while getting his first 50 of the series.
The following are excerpts:
On the series victory
Nobody gave us a chance before the series, but we played very good cricket... In fact, we’ve beaten India in the mental game, too... If we leave out a few regulars and still beat India on Sunday, that will show our World Cup preparations are on track...
On plans to celebrate
It’s on hold till Sunday.
On tomorrow’s match
It’s not without meaning and not without importance.
On the second series win in a row (first being versus Zimbabwe) under his captaincy
I would have been happier had the West Indies won under some other captain... That would have been ideal... It’s nice, but my feet are on the ground.
On leadership within the team
For a team to grow, the players have to be leaders... It’s important to have the ingredients of leadership and I’ve been doing my bit to develop leaders...
On India’s performance
They arrived as the No.3 team and we respect them... The absence of Sachin Tendulkar probably made a difference, but then that’s one player we’re talking about... Despite this result, the Indians are going to start favourites in the Test series as well... Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh bowling together...
On Greg Chappell’s comment that the “West Indies have forgotten to win” after the first ODI
The boys took note of it... It was a very sly remark... He might be right, but hasn’t been over the past week... I accept we haven’t always capitalised on chances, though.
On whether Dwayne Bravo’s wicket-taking slower one to Yuvraj Singh, in the second ODI, will be remembered as the series’ defining moment
Well, I hadn’t been happy with the previous two balls in that last over! For me, the defining moment has been (Ramnaresh) Sarwan’s unbeaten 98 in that very match...
On the West Indies’ preparations for the series
We worked a lot... Worked in the “classroom” and had a plan for every Indian... We executed very well in the last three matches...
On the 90-minute team meeting on the eve of the fourth ODI
(Laughs) We don’t always time meetings... I told the boys that the Indians have their backs to the wall and are going to rely on key players to pull them through... I asked each one to contribute, so that a team effort would nullify (any individual brilliance from India)... Everybody responded, even Corey Colleymore who played for the first time in the series, and we were very professional.
On what he keeps telling players
That opportunities have to be grasped... That if you see a Sir Gary Sobers or a Clive Lloyd, talk cricket with them... One must keep learning... When a (Shivnarine) Chanderpaul speaks at team meetings, the youngsters have an opportunity to take lessons from his experience.
On the fantastic support from fans across the Caribbean
Even when we lost the opening ODI (on the penultimate ball), people still wished us luck... They kept faith... They could see we’d fought, that we’d thrown our body behind the ball... We haven’t let them down.
On rotating players
It keeps everybody involved and on their toes. I think it’s better to work from a pool of, say, 20 players not just 11-12.
On whether he was overcome with emotion on taking the field
It will be so on Sunday... It’s going to be special... It will be momentous as I won’t again play a one-dayer on a ground where I’m familiar with every blade of grass...