As the ODI squad adjusted to the vast time difference between Australia and the Caribbean, Arthur said that any complacency after a home Test series victory over India and a subsequent triangular ODI series final success against Sri Lanka had to be weeded out of the team ahead of Friday’s first match.
Among other challenges, Arthur also pointed to the unfamiliarity of West Indian conditions and also the prevalence of new faces in the hosts’ squad as reasons for the visitors to be wary over the next seven weeks.
“There’s three things we really need to guard against,” Arthur told AAP. “One is attitude and complacency because we’ve come off a really good summer so we need to guard against that.
“We’re in conditions that are very different to Australia so that’s something we’re going to need to get used to very, very quickly. Then the third one is an unknown opposition. Our preparation time is going to be so important to us. We can’t compromise on our preparation time.”
“An unknown opposition does present a lot more challenges,” Arthur said. “They can certainly hit you hard up front and we could be chasing our tails for the rest of the series. We’ve got the week now to make sure in all disciplines we’re right and ready to go come Friday.”
Australia’s training schedule will begin with a sharp fielding session on Monday, before the team settles into its plans and tactics for five limited overs matches. Arthur is working closely with the acting captain Shane Watson, and said the allrounder had so far surpassed his expectations.
“Shane’s been really good. He has been outstanding,” Arthur said. “I think he’s led very well, he’s led with authority which has been really good. I think he’s almost performed above expectation in that area which is great.”
“If things happen to Clarkey we want to have a really good and able vice-captain who can take over. He’s also a vice-captain playing all forms of the game. Shane’s doing that and can give a huge amount of support to Michael through the Tests and ODIs and to George Bailey through the Twenty20s.”
One man not participating in the early matches of the series will be James Pattinson, as he recovers from a muscle strain. Though Pattinson has been afflicted by a foot ailment and now a buttocks problem in quick succession, Arthur said his preference was for young bowlers to train hard and learn to deal with the fact that injuries were a necessary evil of fast bowling.
“I would bowl him every day of the week if I could and let him loose … the more for him the better,” Arthur said. “I feel the same for all the younger bowlers. I think we’ve got to live with the fact that bowling is a real tough gig and guys are going to break down. We’ve just got to get them ready to go again after that.”