Darren Sammy might have gotten the West Indies Captaincy by default and has under-performed since, but the first St Lucian to play International cricket remains confident that things are about to change for him and his team.
The 27-year-old Sammy said while he has not batted well and has not taken many wickets since assuming the role of Captain he is confident in his ability.
“Being Captain is a new experience… I have been working quite hard. I have not produced the type of performances expected but I am a confident person and Guyana is a good place to start playing the way I know I can,” Sammy disclosed.
Sammy has scored 301 runs and taken 29 wickets including three five-wicket hauls in his 11 Tests but has managed just 10 runs and two wickets in his three as Skipper. His ODI performance as Skipper has not been much better.
Many fans and former players including Michael Holding, Ian Bishop, Colin Croft and Jeffery Dujon feel his presence in the side upsets the balance of the team but Sammy said yesterday he is not deterred by negative comments since everyone is entitled to their views.
Mike Denness quit the English Captaincy in the interest of his team after struggling with the bat against Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson in Australia in 1974.
When asked yesterday by Regional commentator Andrew Mason if would consider doing the same if his poor run continued, Sammy said although he would like to do better he always tries his best when he goes onto the field and informed that he enjoys every role he is involved in when playing for the West Indies.
Sammy, who took 7-66 on his Test debut against England in 2007, said if the situation arises that the people who put him there (as Captain) feel that he is not doing the job they could make changes.
The Captain was high in praise for the work of batting consultant Desmond Haynes and said that Coach Otis Gibson is working hard with the team, which he said is going into today’s Test with great team spirit.
“Our batsmen have improved, especially against (Saeed) Ajmal since Desi (Haynes) began working with us. He is telling us to play more with the bat than pad. The important thing in Test cricket is to occupy the crease for long periods. Ajmal has bowled well but he has not had plenty of wickets,” Sammy said.
The Captain does not feel he disrupts the balance of the team and said that since every member of the 13-man squad is competent, whoever is picked in the final eleven today should give a good account of themselves.
Sammy says winning the last two ODIs have given the team a psychological boost and feels that the Test pitch should be similar to the one used for last Thursday’s ODI.
Sammy said that his team dominated most of the one Test that ‘went five days’ in the rain ruined series in Sri Lanka last year and feels that once his team can win crucial moments, remain consistent and occupy the crease, they could beat Pakistan.
Chris Gayle scored a triple century in the last Test series played by the West Indies in Sri Lanka and Sammy disclosed that while Gayle’s batting would be missed, Marlon Samuels and Fidel Edwards have returned to the side.
He added that the absence of Gayle will also give others the opportunity to ‘step up’ in this series.
Sammy said the team’s bowling has not been bad and is capable of taking 20 wickets in a match.
“Once the batsmen can put runs on the board Pakistan can be beaten since they are a team that crumbles,” Sammy opined.
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