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Mohammad Isam in Khulna
November 25, 2012
The ten-wicket victory in Khulna was West Indies' fourth consecutive Test win. The last time they won four Tests in a row was in 1993, when they beat Australia and Pakistan. The 2-0 result in Bangladesh also meant that West Indies had won four Tests in a year for the first time since 2002.
The recent improvement in results has come under Darren Sammy's leadership, and he credited a settled team for the turnaround.
"The most encouraging thing for me is that I turn up and know what to expect from the players, what Tino [Best] or [Veerasammy] Permaul will give me, or what Marlon is going to give when he goes out to bat," Sammy said. "We have reached that stage. The nucleus of the team is quite settled. The guys are performing consistently in the last 6-12 months.
"The guys in the team were in England and New Zealand, with Chris [Gaye] returning to the team. It's a more settled squad, just like our T20 team is quite settled, so is our ODI team. The more we play, the more we know about each other. But that being said, we have guys who continue to play domestic cricket at home who perform.
Sammy believes the side has gone through a process in which they've taken every steps towards winning Tests. Their latest improvement is consistency, after wins at home against New Zealand and the World Twenty20 triumph in Sri Lanka. "We performed more consistently over the last ten days of Test cricket [than Bangladesh]," Sammy said. "We didn't take them for granted. In key moments, like the second innings, we did more things better than them.
"They are quite a young team, and once they are mentally stronger they can keep pressing against higher-ranked opposition. We were a team at the same stage, but we have worked on this so it's good to see performance coming consistently."
West Indies' batsmen played a key role in the series win, making seven centuries to Bangladesh's two. The bowling attack also claimed 40 Bangladesh wickets, though the lack of application from the home wide's batsmen made that job a little easier.
"We had to work for most of our wickets. The pitch was really good for batting," Sammy said. "We stuck to our plans for most of the time. In the first innings in Dhaka, our bowlers didn't hit the areas. From the second innings and both innings in this Test, we bowled better. Our batsmen were more patient, [they] let the bowlers come to them."
West Indies have a chance to extend their winning streak to six, when they play Zimbabwe early next year. The last time they won so many in a row was in 1988, when the team was at the peak of its powers under Viv Richards. If Sammy's side produces its own 6-0 it will not be spoken of in the same breath, but it will not be taken for granted either, because wins were rare enough not so long ago.
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