NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India head for West Indies on Monday to play a five-Test series hoping to justify their unusual tag of favourites for an overseas tour. Saurav Ganguly's side see an excellent opportunity to end a 16-year wait for a Test series victory outside the sub-continent against an opposition on the decline. "We have to do well on the whole and not just in one area," Ganguly said in Kolkata on Sunday ahead of the team's departure.
India also play five one-dayers during the tour which ends on June 2.
Although India have been almost unbeatable on slow turning home tracks - having lost just one series in almost 15 years - they have not won a series outside south Asia since claiming a 2-0 victory in a three-Test series against England in 1986.
India raised hopes of winning abroad last year, but were held to a 1-1 draw in a two-Test series in Zimbabwe and then lost to South Africa. "We have to put runs on the board and get 20 wickets to win a Test match. But the most important thing is we need to show discipline," Ganguly said.
"We need to be consistent. We play like champions one day and probably not our best cricket the next day.
Brian Lara should be fit for the first Test against India after three months sidelined with serious injury, West Indies captain Carl Hooper has said. Hooper, speaking after a 22-man squad training camp in Trinidad, said: "The fact that he is in the 22 means that he is definitely being considered for the first Test. "I'm fairly optimistic that come the 11th of April he will be in the field."
Lara dislocated and fractured his elbow in a one-dayer against Sri Lanka in December after running into fielder Marvan Atapattu. West Indies were whitewashed 3-0 in the Tests against Sri Lanka -- despite Lara averaging 114.66 -- before also losing a one-day tournament final against them.