Bichel hopes for better Caribbean trip - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bichel hopes for better Caribbean trip

By Adrian Warren 31/03/2003 06:49:40 PM Comments (0)

World Cup hero Andy Bichel has warned Australia faced a tougher task on its Test tour of the West Indies than most people expected.

The Australians - minus batsman Damien Martyn who will join the tour later because of a broken finger - flew out of Sydney on Monday night.

The West Indians haven't won any of the last four series against Australia and were whitewashed 5-0 in the last in Australia in 2000-01.

Inconsistent results since have left the Windies languishing in seventh spot on the ICC table, but Bichel stressed the current outfit was very different from that routed in Australia.

"They've really regrouped with Carl Hooper coming back captaining the side and we've seen Brian Lara be a relaxed cricketer which is quite dangerous," Bichel said before the team's departure for the four-Test series.

"We've seen some young guys come through in the batting, (Ramnaresh) Sarwan, (Wavell) Hinds and (Chris) Gayle, they are starting to play well and starting to relax at international level.

"And they've got some young, quick bowlers who have now got four or five years experience of international cricket under their belt, so I think they're going to be a lot tougher than every one really thinks."

Bichel capitalised on Jason Gillespie's injury at the World Cup to claim 16 wickets at 12.31 and average 117 with the bat to emerge as one of Australia's stars.

But the 32-year-old Queenslander acknowledged he faced another battle to win a spot in the Test team - a familiar situation for the paceman who has made just eleven Test appearances since his debut against the West Indies in 1996/97.

Gillespie's return from injury after missing the majority of the World Cup is the latest hurdle for Bichel whose only five-wicket Test haul was against the West Indies in Melbourne in the 2000-01 series in Melbourne.

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