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Champions Trophy final - Aus v WI
Mumbai: 5 November, 2006

Brian Lara
Lara says his side's confidence has grown through the tournament
Brian Lara believes West Indies are in good stead to compete for the World Cup on home soil after reaching the final of the ICC Champions Trophy.

After defeat to Australia in Mumbai, he said: "We just have to work on crossing the final hurdle.

"It will definitively give us impetus we need for such a major tournament.

"Our ranking so far hasn't been great but the fact we were in the final of the Champions Trophy shows we have a very good chance."

Even though they won the Champions Trophy in England in 2004, Lara's men were forced to go through the qualifying round as the world's eighth-ranked one-day side.

We didn't get runs in the final - maybe there was a bit of stage fright - but we are getting places

Brian Lara

But they surprised many by upsetting Australia in the group stages and also recording wins over India and, in the semi-final, South Africa.

Lara continued: "The guys started to believe in themselves a lot more.

"With [former captain] Clive Lloyd joining us in this tournament, the coaching staff was excellent."

Chris Gayle was named man of the tournament after scoring 474 runs in eight games.

"Chris Gayle was amazing," said Lara. "Three centuries was great and he set up a lot of victories."

"Jerome Taylor got the most wickets for us and he played an important part but as a team we worked really hard to get to this position.

"We didn't get runs in the final - maybe there was a bit of stage fright - but we are getting places."

Gayle has matured as an opening batsman during this tournament, although his dismissal in the final proved a turning point.

"The team really look up to me to play a role of responsibility," he admitted.

"It's happened in this tournament and hopefully I can take up the challenge whenever to benefit the team."

ICC Champions Trophy 2006
29 Oct 06 |  Future tour dates
Match scorecard
05 Nov 06 |  The Ashes


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