West Indies in England 2012 May 14, 2012

Slowly but surely for Sammy

West Indies captain says his side have competed against India and Australia and now need to start winning
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They may be missing several of their leading players, have been beaten in the warm-up game, written-off in the media and up against the No. 1 rated Test team, but West Indies captain Darren Sammy has warned England not to underestimate his side's chance ahead of the Test series beginning at Lord's on Thursday.

West Indies' Test record in recent years is grim. They have won only one of their previous 10 series - and that was against Bangladesh - and only two of their last 24 series stretching back to 2004. Indeed, since December 2003, West Indies have played 80 Tests, won just eight - including two against Bangladesh - and lost 45. It is not a record that inspires confidence.

But Sammy believes his side is progressing. While he accepts the results do not show it, he insists there have been encouraging signs in recent Test series. Notably, West Indies pushed India hard in Delhi before collapsing against Ravi Ashwin in their second innings and succumbing to a five-wicket loss. Similarly, they came to close to upsetting Australia in Bridgetown, only for another second innings batting collapse to eventually sentence them to a three-wicket defeat.

"The only thing that has not been happening is the victories," Sammy told ESPNcricinfo. "We've been playing good, competitive cricket against strong sides like India and Australia and all our Tests have been going five days and down to the wire. Not many teams go to India and give India a run for their money, but we did that.

"Coming from where we are right now, we are not going to start winning straight away. We are taking baby steps to the ultimate goal. We are playing well and dominating teams throughout matches.

"The problem is that we keep losing key moments in matches. One bad session keeps costing us. Champion teams seize the moment but we keep having a bad session where we might lose five wickets in an hour. We just need to cut that out. Once we eliminate those bad sessions then we'll make progress."

Sammy also reminded England that the sides did not have to look back very far to the last team his side caused an upset. A young West Indies squad travelled to England to play two T20 internationals last September and, having lost the first game by 10 wickets, they hit back with a 25-run win to square the series. West Indies also won the last Test series between the sides in the Caribbean.

"We were a very inexperienced team in September," Sammy said. "People said we were just on our way to Bangladesh, but we beat England.

"Every team that comes here, the media try and bring them down for England. So we know what to expect. We have to handle the distractions - be they the weather or the press - and concentrate on doing our best on the pitch. People don't expect much from us, but we know that once we play to our potential we can compete very hard against England. If we can put runs on the board, we back our bowlers to take 20 wickets against England."

If West Indies are to do that, it is crucial that they have their best attack available to them. As things stand there are slight injury doubts hanging against all three of their leading seamers - Kemar Roach (foot), Ravi Rampaul (neck) and Fidel Edwards (back) - though it looks as if all three should be fine. As Roach, who is eagerly anticipating his first Tests at Lord's put it: "Everyone wants to be here; there's nothing going to stop me playing."

Sammy also said his entire side had been inspired by the documentary Fire in Babylon, which tells the story of West Indies' domination of Test cricket in the 1970s and 80s. He drew parallels in the challenges facing his team and West Indies team of the early 70s.

"Fire in Babylon is my inspiration," Sammy said. "I have watched it many times. I knew our history - but to see it again, to hear the passion in the voices of the players - it's got to make you think about how important what we do is to the people of the Caribbean.

"All of the guys have seen it and been inspired. The guys are aware of how important West Indies cricket is to the fans. They appreciate the history and they carry the legacy. Some never knew about it - they knew the team had been great - but they didn't understand what previous teams had gone through and what they had to endure. They didn't understand about the challenges they had to rise above.

"We have different challenges now. We dominated the world for 17 years and conquered all teams. People got used to success. A lot is expected of all West Indies teams since then. It could be a burden - every fast bowler is compared to Ambrose or Walsh and every batsman is compared to Greenidge or Lara - but I prefer to see it as an inspiration. That's the path we have to follow.

"Everyone in the Caribbean wants West Indies to do well. When we are playing well our brand of cricket is very entertaining. The turnout from the public in our last series - in Tests and ODIs and T20s - we've not seen that sort of support for our team in a long while. The reason is that they see the team competing. We're not winning, but we're playing with passion and if we do that, the victories should be just around the corner. We're fighting, we're showing passion: we understand what we have to do."

Darren Sammy was talking at the launch expansion of Sport for Life, a cricket-based community education program that hopes to equip young people with life skills and instil in them a love of sport. For more details visit: http://www.sport-for-life.org/caribbean/

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY WI-forever on | May 16, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    I will skip all the cricketing arguments about captaincy, who deserve a place in the West indies team and who does not deserve to be in the team. There are two ingredients needed for a team to be successful, ABILITY AND DESIRE/PRIDE. One without the other gets you so far no further.

    I live in the Uk and is a long suffering West Indian. For years I have for too watched West Indies being humiliated on the field and the TV camera switches to the PLAYERS BALCONY to see these same players laughing and joking like they are the winning team. No sign of embarrassment, sadness, or shame. My son often ask do these guys care that they have just lost?

    The current team are no world beaters, but neither were those of the last few years, what have is pride in representing the WI, burning desire to succeed, and hurt when they are losing. The tears in Sammy's eyes when he could not get the team home in the ST LUCIA ODI IS TESTAMENT TO THAT.

    THATS A GOOD START

  • POSTED BY Shaynej on | May 16, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    99% of the animus against Sammy in these comments is because he believes (and states more or less openly) that Gayle was a disruptive influence in the dressing room and did not lift/carry the other 10 players in the team. How can you carry your team when you give off the air that "you're too cool to care"?

    Yes, Gayle is a superlative talent but he's not the first talent to occupy in the WI dressing room. None of the legends before him seemingly acted that way. If Gayle had occupied the dressing room with legends like Lloyd, Richards and Greenidge, they would have crushed him if there was ever a sense that he didn't put the WI team ahead of his "cool" persona.

    No one would say that Sammy is a better player than Gayle but Sammy deserves to be WI captain for one simple reason - he believes that cricket is a team game and tries to carry all his 10 other players with him. Criticize his modest record all you want, but Sammy plays his heart out and his team can see and respect that.

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 15:26 GMT

    Other than a longer period, can somebody state what's the difference between losing in 3/4 days and 5-days?? As afar as I know, it's still a loss, so all the hullabaloo about the team "improving and competing" is simply a mask over the underlying problems of Windies cricket. Brendan Nash's statements recently reiterated what many already knew, and that is the structure of cricket in the region is designed for failure. The design is being deliberately maintained by the WICB to deflect attention from its own incompetence and that of its lackeys, namely the selectors and the coach. Hoping for the best appears to be their strategy, while ignoring the reality of the situation. How can a team be loaded up front with players who have not demonstrated any real competency with the bat at the highest level of the game?? Why include the same player as captain for every format of the game when any sane individual with a knowledge of cricket knows that he is NOT A TEST CRICKETER??

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    My fellow WI cricket fans please stop viewing Sammy as great captain just to justifying his place in the team . The problem I have with Sammy as captain is he think he have to get rid of all the guys who are seniors over him regardless of there records.Also Sammy was acting during the impasse with Gayle and WICB as if he was neutral on the issue but when Gayle gave his availability to WICB his press release sound like he is not so thrill to have Gayle back when he make the statement about hard work . Gayle played 3 test under Sammy captaincy and he made a triple century what more Sammy want ,Wasn't that hard work of course Sammy will never known. For me nothing against Sammy it's just the unfair talks about the team is doing better when the truth is the team is about the same as before missing a few proven players due to politic in the management.

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    All these talk of WI competing only under Sammy is absolute nonsense. West fought hard when they last toured Australia, an even better fight than this one. Who was the captain? Who was the best batter of the series? West Indies won a test against South Africa the last time under the leadership of? Who led WI to an ODI series win England the last time? Who led them to their last home series win against England? If you know the answers, you know all these talk of Sammy and his band of supporters is nothing but absolute nonsense. His contribution to the side over the last year or so has been keeping one of the decent fast bowlers out of the side, as well as one of their prime batters, and of course all those dropped catches, and all these rubbish talk!.

  • POSTED BY Vineeth59 on | May 16, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    All you fools supporting sammy must understand onething....now Windies improved much better not DUE TO THE CAPTAINCY OF sammy ...WE ARE PLAYING BECOZ OF ONLY OUR BETTER BOWLING ATTACK....U KNOWHAT ...IF THIS BOWLING ATTACK WAS THER DURING LARA'S TIME, HE WOULD HAVE GOT MANY MATCHES FOR WINDIES...From 2000 onwards after ambrose and walsh retired ...first time am seing 10 wickets taken only after BRAVO came.....now our bowling attack is realy good....NOBODY is talking about last series win in ENGLAND when Gayle, Sarwan and all led in front.....at that time we got edward in form to tke 10 wickets ...data y we won...now we have much better pace attack.....Any respect i had on saam y was gone completely with thatstatemnt against gayle's comee back .....I bet within one year he will be out of team...at that time gayle ,asarwan , narine russell, bravo's all will be there.

  • POSTED BY sugars on | May 16, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    ITS AMAZING THAT THE PEOPLE POSTING HERE ARE CALLING FOR SARWAN,NASH,GAYLE,BRAVO,TAYLOR TO BE BROUGHT BACK.ARE THEY FORGETTING WITH THE EXCEPTION OF NASH THOSE PLAYERS HAVE BEEN PART OF THE WEST INDIES TEAM FOR YEARS AND WITH ALL THEIR TALENTS WERE WHITE WASHED IN ENGLAND A FEW MONTHS AFTER NARROWLY SCRAPPING A VICTORY OVER ENGLAND IN THE CARIBBEAN.IN ONE GAME THEY WERE LOST INSIDE 3 DAYS.PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT SAMMY OCCUPYING A BOLWERS SPOT ON THE TEAM,YET THE BOWLERS THEY ARE SUPPORTING DOSN'T HAVE A CONSISTENT RECORD AS STRIKE BOWLERS.THEY PERFORM GOOD IN 1 MATCH AND 10 MATCHES LATER GIVE ANOTHER GOOD SHOWING AND THAT IS ONE YOU GUYS WANT TO LEAVE SAMMY OUT FOR. WE NEED CONSISTENCY AND WE SEEM TO BE GETTING THAT NOW UNDER SAMMYS LEADERSHIP.NO LONGER DO WE LOSE GAMES IN 3 DAYS WE TAKING IT ALL THE WAY AND EVENTUALLY WE WILL START WINNING THOSE CLOSE GAMES WHEN WE LEARN TO STICK TO THE BASICS OF TAKING OUT CATCHES

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    CMON windies! lets do this! we CAN beat england at lords!

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2012, 19:50 GMT

    Can your top order score Daddy hundreds? That is the basic question. Sammy instilled determination, this, that and the other, will not work in England. They are really streets ahead of Australia in West Indies.

  • POSTED BY Rally_Windies on | May 15, 2012, 17:33 GMT

    @ gergory bean ....

    look the WICB dismmised all of the last crop of OJT's ( On the Job Trainees) ! Sawaran and Gayle were OJT's who have just started to bloom .. Jerome Taylor was just starting to turn the corner as a bowler (and has almost become an alrounder the way his batting has developed over the years) ....

    OJT's aer supposed to fail, fail, fail, and when they begin to prosper they are dropped because the weight of their failures destroy their career averages . A perfect example is Darren Ganaga, whose career average in Tests is 26, but it was actually 23 for 1st 30 Matches, and began to rise with at the end and just when he went 2 years averaging 40+ ... he got the axe ....

    this OJT thing makes no sense .. you should be able to keep you batting average above 30 and your bowling below 40 even if you are an OJT .........

  • POSTED BY WI-forever on | May 16, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    I will skip all the cricketing arguments about captaincy, who deserve a place in the West indies team and who does not deserve to be in the team. There are two ingredients needed for a team to be successful, ABILITY AND DESIRE/PRIDE. One without the other gets you so far no further.

    I live in the Uk and is a long suffering West Indian. For years I have for too watched West Indies being humiliated on the field and the TV camera switches to the PLAYERS BALCONY to see these same players laughing and joking like they are the winning team. No sign of embarrassment, sadness, or shame. My son often ask do these guys care that they have just lost?

    The current team are no world beaters, but neither were those of the last few years, what have is pride in representing the WI, burning desire to succeed, and hurt when they are losing. The tears in Sammy's eyes when he could not get the team home in the ST LUCIA ODI IS TESTAMENT TO THAT.

    THATS A GOOD START

  • POSTED BY Shaynej on | May 16, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    99% of the animus against Sammy in these comments is because he believes (and states more or less openly) that Gayle was a disruptive influence in the dressing room and did not lift/carry the other 10 players in the team. How can you carry your team when you give off the air that "you're too cool to care"?

    Yes, Gayle is a superlative talent but he's not the first talent to occupy in the WI dressing room. None of the legends before him seemingly acted that way. If Gayle had occupied the dressing room with legends like Lloyd, Richards and Greenidge, they would have crushed him if there was ever a sense that he didn't put the WI team ahead of his "cool" persona.

    No one would say that Sammy is a better player than Gayle but Sammy deserves to be WI captain for one simple reason - he believes that cricket is a team game and tries to carry all his 10 other players with him. Criticize his modest record all you want, but Sammy plays his heart out and his team can see and respect that.

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 15:26 GMT

    Other than a longer period, can somebody state what's the difference between losing in 3/4 days and 5-days?? As afar as I know, it's still a loss, so all the hullabaloo about the team "improving and competing" is simply a mask over the underlying problems of Windies cricket. Brendan Nash's statements recently reiterated what many already knew, and that is the structure of cricket in the region is designed for failure. The design is being deliberately maintained by the WICB to deflect attention from its own incompetence and that of its lackeys, namely the selectors and the coach. Hoping for the best appears to be their strategy, while ignoring the reality of the situation. How can a team be loaded up front with players who have not demonstrated any real competency with the bat at the highest level of the game?? Why include the same player as captain for every format of the game when any sane individual with a knowledge of cricket knows that he is NOT A TEST CRICKETER??

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    My fellow WI cricket fans please stop viewing Sammy as great captain just to justifying his place in the team . The problem I have with Sammy as captain is he think he have to get rid of all the guys who are seniors over him regardless of there records.Also Sammy was acting during the impasse with Gayle and WICB as if he was neutral on the issue but when Gayle gave his availability to WICB his press release sound like he is not so thrill to have Gayle back when he make the statement about hard work . Gayle played 3 test under Sammy captaincy and he made a triple century what more Sammy want ,Wasn't that hard work of course Sammy will never known. For me nothing against Sammy it's just the unfair talks about the team is doing better when the truth is the team is about the same as before missing a few proven players due to politic in the management.

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    All these talk of WI competing only under Sammy is absolute nonsense. West fought hard when they last toured Australia, an even better fight than this one. Who was the captain? Who was the best batter of the series? West Indies won a test against South Africa the last time under the leadership of? Who led WI to an ODI series win England the last time? Who led them to their last home series win against England? If you know the answers, you know all these talk of Sammy and his band of supporters is nothing but absolute nonsense. His contribution to the side over the last year or so has been keeping one of the decent fast bowlers out of the side, as well as one of their prime batters, and of course all those dropped catches, and all these rubbish talk!.

  • POSTED BY Vineeth59 on | May 16, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    All you fools supporting sammy must understand onething....now Windies improved much better not DUE TO THE CAPTAINCY OF sammy ...WE ARE PLAYING BECOZ OF ONLY OUR BETTER BOWLING ATTACK....U KNOWHAT ...IF THIS BOWLING ATTACK WAS THER DURING LARA'S TIME, HE WOULD HAVE GOT MANY MATCHES FOR WINDIES...From 2000 onwards after ambrose and walsh retired ...first time am seing 10 wickets taken only after BRAVO came.....now our bowling attack is realy good....NOBODY is talking about last series win in ENGLAND when Gayle, Sarwan and all led in front.....at that time we got edward in form to tke 10 wickets ...data y we won...now we have much better pace attack.....Any respect i had on saam y was gone completely with thatstatemnt against gayle's comee back .....I bet within one year he will be out of team...at that time gayle ,asarwan , narine russell, bravo's all will be there.

  • POSTED BY sugars on | May 16, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    ITS AMAZING THAT THE PEOPLE POSTING HERE ARE CALLING FOR SARWAN,NASH,GAYLE,BRAVO,TAYLOR TO BE BROUGHT BACK.ARE THEY FORGETTING WITH THE EXCEPTION OF NASH THOSE PLAYERS HAVE BEEN PART OF THE WEST INDIES TEAM FOR YEARS AND WITH ALL THEIR TALENTS WERE WHITE WASHED IN ENGLAND A FEW MONTHS AFTER NARROWLY SCRAPPING A VICTORY OVER ENGLAND IN THE CARIBBEAN.IN ONE GAME THEY WERE LOST INSIDE 3 DAYS.PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT SAMMY OCCUPYING A BOLWERS SPOT ON THE TEAM,YET THE BOWLERS THEY ARE SUPPORTING DOSN'T HAVE A CONSISTENT RECORD AS STRIKE BOWLERS.THEY PERFORM GOOD IN 1 MATCH AND 10 MATCHES LATER GIVE ANOTHER GOOD SHOWING AND THAT IS ONE YOU GUYS WANT TO LEAVE SAMMY OUT FOR. WE NEED CONSISTENCY AND WE SEEM TO BE GETTING THAT NOW UNDER SAMMYS LEADERSHIP.NO LONGER DO WE LOSE GAMES IN 3 DAYS WE TAKING IT ALL THE WAY AND EVENTUALLY WE WILL START WINNING THOSE CLOSE GAMES WHEN WE LEARN TO STICK TO THE BASICS OF TAKING OUT CATCHES

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    CMON windies! lets do this! we CAN beat england at lords!

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2012, 19:50 GMT

    Can your top order score Daddy hundreds? That is the basic question. Sammy instilled determination, this, that and the other, will not work in England. They are really streets ahead of Australia in West Indies.

  • POSTED BY Rally_Windies on | May 15, 2012, 17:33 GMT

    @ gergory bean ....

    look the WICB dismmised all of the last crop of OJT's ( On the Job Trainees) ! Sawaran and Gayle were OJT's who have just started to bloom .. Jerome Taylor was just starting to turn the corner as a bowler (and has almost become an alrounder the way his batting has developed over the years) ....

    OJT's aer supposed to fail, fail, fail, and when they begin to prosper they are dropped because the weight of their failures destroy their career averages . A perfect example is Darren Ganaga, whose career average in Tests is 26, but it was actually 23 for 1st 30 Matches, and began to rise with at the end and just when he went 2 years averaging 40+ ... he got the axe ....

    this OJT thing makes no sense .. you should be able to keep you batting average above 30 and your bowling below 40 even if you are an OJT .........

  • POSTED BY MiddlePeg on | May 15, 2012, 16:58 GMT

    I don't think the England team have any need to take the West Indies seriously at Lord's. If there are two dry days out of five I'll be amazed. The weather in London is biblically bad...

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    Sammy, if you are reading this, I hope that you guys can win this thing then you can retire and tell the BIG ISLANDERS to .......... it

  • POSTED BY SirAlfredMansbridge on | May 15, 2012, 16:24 GMT

    WI will find it hard to beat England. They have improved but the English have much better seasoned quality players. I say England take it 3-0. And I would like to see the young Joe Root in the squad for the next test.

  • POSTED BY avi_b on | May 15, 2012, 14:10 GMT

    I've been observing Sammy and West Indies for the past couple of years and I truly feel the team has finally realized the legacy of their predecessors. They're now willing to draw inspiration from history and bring back the lost legacy.

    Sammy might not be a cricketer with magical abilities or skills but he's done a wonderful job of creating a competitive team and making each one of them believe that they can beat the best. I wish Sammy and West Indies cricket all the best for the forthcoming series against England.

  • POSTED BY Outside_Off_Stump on | May 15, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    Sammy, you have no idea how many people are gonna be supporting your team all over the world. Nothing like England fans crying in pain. Go for it guys!

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    With such a weak betting order i dont understand why I havent brought in Nash in the top order he with Chanders should boost the order. I read about Gibson saying that these guys are learning on the job, my question is how many years do you give a player in determining if he has the ability or not?

  • POSTED BY mrhamilton on | May 15, 2012, 12:31 GMT

    As a big Sammy fan, even I cannot deny he simply needs to move up to number 6 in the allrounders slot to end all this talk of he isnt good enough to be either a specialist bowler or batsmen. The no 6's of late Samuels and Deonarine havent exactly set the world alight. Also he simply must must improve his catching, all this talk of fighting is great and he has backed it up somewhat in the last year with his bowling and batting, but the dropped catches at crucial times by Sammy HAVE cost windies test match wins against India and Australia no doubt and contributed to series losses. If he goes on dropping these catches his position and fine words are untenable.

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    no matter what your margins of defeat are, you have improved when you start winning matches..

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2012, 12:04 GMT

    last one year lots of hard work from sammy and others are brillonat in game. now the time is come to make theirself in winning spirit. i m sure wi will perfrorm good in england.great series to see. i m so exieted.

  • POSTED BY Daniel_Smith on | May 15, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    I think England will be extremely foolish if they under-estimate this West Indies team. The key word being team. Darren Sammy has built a team that is greater than the sum of its parts. I think one of the things that is missing from the West Indies is luck. Once they get into the habit of winning then things will definitely start to pick up. I hope Chris Gayle respects the players in this current side and fits in. If he does then look out! Finally, I hope the weather stays good so we get to see some sparkling cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2012, 11:56 GMT

    RK i agree with you that Chanders should be batting at #3 being that the top of the order is extremely Weak you WILL ADD A BIT OF STABILITY AT THE TOP AND cHANDERS can guide them. For this issue you blame the Captain he is responsible for the batting order. Personally i dont see Sammy as a leader, nice guy though i feel that he should be a vice captain to Chris Gayle he is still learning the game, the tied one day game against the Aussies, too many basic mistakes made..

  • POSTED BY rkannancrown on | May 15, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    Sam. my has got to be admired for his spirit. However, WICB seem to be determined to ignore some of their best players. I cannot understand how Gayle, Narain and Bravo can be left out of a team with such a pathetic record. It is also funny that Chanderpaul keeps getting to bat with the tail but no attempt is being made to push him up the order. He would be ideal at No.3 as he is a player who brings stability to one end.

  • POSTED BY Silva-Surfa on | May 15, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    Just wanted to reply to Dashgar, you make some excellent points. Some of the critics and haters on here that have ridiculed the team under Sammy has been hash and unfair. The players that played under Lara and Gayle were much stronger on paper than this current class of 2012, but the results and rankings were practically the same, am i missing something?..People can quote all the individual stats they want, the bottom line is the collective effort was still nowhere near good enough, due to the teams back then having a more laid back attitude, partying between matches and lounging around before the start of a days play, like a bunch of friends getting together playing beach-cricket, instead of the professional attitude of having practice-drills or putting in the hard yards. Some of you might scoff about that, but I know because i saw it first hand with my own eyes over the years. Even the great 'fire in babylon' days the talent in that side still played as a team!!

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2012, 9:39 GMT

    At face value, there is still a long way to go for the Windies to show any signs of competing against the top teams, but at the core base, i can see some positive signs. What i mean by that is the professionalism, passion, commitment and work-ethic that is being installed within the team. The raw ability is there, but the temperament, discipline and consistancy required to play collectively as a team is found wanting in alot of areas, hence the poor results. I believe the current bowling line-up could hold their own, just as long as the batting can give them something in their 1st innings to bowl at and not get skittled out cheaply. Chanderpaul seems to be the only one that truly values his wicket, where as the others just look too vunerable to pose a genuine threat. Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo and Samuels will have to step-up, for the team to have any chance of making this series competitive.

  • POSTED BY KIRAN.REDDY on | May 15, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    Goddddd...!!! Keeping tests and one-days aside upcoming world T20 is gonna be for W.I look at the team and look at the bunch of all-rounders my probables being(gayle, ramdin, bravo, smith, russell, sammy, rampaul, roach, sunil, pollard, samuels/kevin/edwards)....haha who can't bat and who can't bowl here resurge of windies on the go...:)

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | May 15, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    I don't see how this West Indian side is doing any worse than any Windies side since Ambrose retired. Yet unlike all those sides which relied on the star power of Lara, Gayle, Sarwan, Chanderpaul and Bravo this one is a young developing team that plays as a team. It is the first Windies team in a long time that actually looks like it is building towards the future, not clinging to the past. If you think placing Sarwan, Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Jerome Taylor in the team will immediately make West Indies world beaters then you just need to look how well they did in the late 00s, they were a worse team then than they are now under Sammy. Occasional star brilliance led to upsets but they didn't achieve anything of any note, and their last tour of England under Gayle they were appalling.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | May 15, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    @Ian Macintyre on (May 15 2012, 06:08 AM GMT), I'm not sure what you are basing your assessment of England's batting form on. They did have a dismal series in UAE and a dismal first innings in SL but really, you couldn't say that Cook, Trott and KP are out of form at the moment especially. Prior played a few good innings over the winter and Bell has shown significant signs of shaking off the issues he faced in conditions clearly different from what he'll face this summer. Bairstow has been in good form in the CC and has already hit a 50 against the same bowlers he'll face in the Test match(es) so, while nothing is guaranteed, I'd say that Strauss is the only major worry for the England lineup.

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    Against an England team with a generaly out of form batting order the current West Indies attack looks quite decent. Taking 20 wickets won't be too much of a problem I reckon.

    But that top order looks a bit of a shambles I'm sorry to say. And there is not too much a bowling all-rounder captain can do or say that can fix that. On an overcast day at Lords with Jimmy swinging it 2 feet you need technique that I don't see and that will probably be the difference.

    However I do think that WI are on the right path. They remind me a bit of Pakistan 2-3 years ago. They found players with sound defensive techniques to open up the batting stuck with an unfashionable captain and look at them now.

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2012, 5:54 GMT

    I believe that West Indies has fabulous players . Look at Gayle, Bravo brothers, Russsel, Pollard, Chanderpaul, Sarwan, Rampaul, Shivanaraine, Roach , Smith etc. Just imagine if they all play together, what a force they might be. Sad that the administrative problems are not taken care of. Hope that they all come together and we see a much better Windies team.Else we will continue to see a struggling unit!

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    Sammy Keep go on...win or loose doesn't matter...just fight hard as you are doing, and you will get respects from us...

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2012, 4:06 GMT

    West Indies could have won every series they have played with Darren Sammy as captain. Every single one except maybe the Sri Lanka series which was washed out. in any other area a company that had so many chances to get the job done and let them slip would have gone bankrupt or undergone drastic changes by now

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | May 15, 2012, 3:26 GMT

    Lot of things to like about Sammy. One thing I like is that he gets up and supports his players. He stands up in front of the media and speaks with pride about his team. He doesn't complain about the lack of senior players or a crowded schedule or tough conditions. He's come to England to play and you know he and his players will give their best. Already they've shown some fight this tour with their second innings against the Lions. I expect them to compete well with England even if they don't win, and they could well win the ODI and T20 series' with the extra talent of Gayle added in.

  • POSTED BY nafzak on | May 15, 2012, 3:22 GMT

    I have to laugh at these comments by Sammy - that " the only thing that has not been happening is the victories." I just cannot cry anymore. As a West Indian, I am ashamed of how low the bar has been set. We celebrate giving the opposition a good fight in losing. Look at Gibson's history with this team. They went to the ODI WC looking to make it to the KO stage...not semis and not winning, but KO stage. They now talk of reaching #5 on the test rankings by 2015. Shucks, please don't get carried away guys. Sammy is a 20/20 player and not a test cricketer. Look at the way he plays. Sorry, I am done writing. Just sick of Gibson, Hilaire and Hunte.

  • POSTED BY RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on | May 15, 2012, 3:16 GMT

    i appreciate sammy as a human being and also agree dat it is not gud to want early results but sammy is not one of wi's top 3 fast bowlers also not one of wi's top 6 batsmen so der is no way sammy plays tests for wi

  • POSTED BY Stos on | May 15, 2012, 2:26 GMT

    Seems quite a reasonable assessment to me. They're a team that has been rubbish for a fair few years, with or without the magic bullet players proposed by West Indies fans, and as such their main task is to build for the future, a task in which a unified and hard-working squad mentality is the most important ingredient. The task for now is not to beat everybody, but to create a fertile atmosphere for the team's future growth. It hardly makes sense to blame West Indies for 'lowering their standards' for adopting different standards to those which they had when they were dominating world cricket. In test cricket, progress is generally going to be a slow process; you have 5 days to endure, and 2 innings to bat, and any faults or lacks of consistency present are going to be exposed. However, that West Indies were able to reduce it to simply these niggling flaws, which can and will be ironed out by time, against the top 4 sides (while drawing with Pakistan), shows that they can go far.

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | May 15, 2012, 2:24 GMT

    @DUKLON STENNETT . IT IS OUITE AN ACHIEVEMENT IT SELF THAT THERE MATCHES ARE GOING TO FIFTH DAY . I WOULD LIKE TO REMIND YOU THAT ENG LOST ALL 4 MATCHES INSIDE 4 DAYS IN ASIA ( DUBAI MATCH WAS FINISHED INSIDE 3 DAYS) .

  • POSTED BY bobagorof on | May 15, 2012, 1:40 GMT

    @Giovaughn Wilson: Why should fans be satisfied? Perhaps because of matches like this one from a few years ago: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/239923.html The West Indies lost in 3 days. At least now they are competing and going the distance. They're showing some backbone and some fight. There's more to do, certainly, but they're improving. As for your (tired) argument against Gibson - the results you're comparing is Dyson's 3rd string players against a very weak side vs Gibson's 2nd string players (no Gayle or Bravo) against top 4 teams - and the results are similar. Doesn't that suggest that Gibson's team is actually doing better than Dyson's 3rd string team, because the opposition are tougher?

  • POSTED BY robert-winworld-cricket-fan on | May 15, 2012, 1:38 GMT

    there is an upside in losing - just imagine the joy when we win - not expecting in my lifetime - hoping wi cricket does not die b4 i do - i m praying!!!

  • POSTED BY Rickb on | May 15, 2012, 1:22 GMT

    Its hard to identify many people who actully follow West Indies cricket. As a St.Lucian if i were Sammy i would leave WI cricket for the bigger Islands to represent us. When we continue to loss (remember we never won with Gayle and the other stars either), then We West Indian would find someone else to blame.

  • POSTED BY Sinhaya on | May 15, 2012, 1:08 GMT

    Those who think that the test matches will end in 2 to 3 days, what rubbish are you all talking! Pakistan stunned England by winning at the Oval in 2010. Nothing can stop the Windies from doing the same. Hope Rampaul and Roach play day after tomorrow.

  • POSTED BY gloriouscricket on | May 15, 2012, 0:44 GMT

    This young WINDIES team have the players to UPSET England.I,ll say it again They can win. Sammy,s leadership & game has imprved, he is approaching the wicket as a batsman who can and will put up a meaningful score on the board;He is more determined to win this series than i,ve seen him in awhile;He needs to go out a winner,he is consciously aware of his place as a Cpt. & more important, he needs to be remembered as A leader who helped turn the Windies into a winning unit.His seamers will be effective in England.Barath, Powell & Bravo needs to learn to adjust ther batting to suit the moment.Especially Barath/Powell--Let the bowlers work for their wicket;Barath,Powell need to take guard at the wicket consciously when they reach 25;Bat in small sessions, don,t get carried away. You have a talent, embrace it.The Cpt. must make a decision re: Barath will he be sent to open in view of his constant failures?

  • POSTED BY Phat-Boy on | May 14, 2012, 23:40 GMT

    Gee some of the other West Indian fans disgust me. This insistance on gaining instant success is sickening. Yes, the Windies have been at the bottom for a long time now and the time has come for them to work their way up. If people can't see that the process has started with their form in all three cricket formats lately, then they do not understand cricket at all. Nothing is ever speedy in cricket - I'd have thought proper West Indies fans would have worked that out after it took them 50 years of test cricket to work their way to the top. South Africa re-joined international cricket in 1991 as one of the better sides - top 4 at least - and it took them 16 years to take the step up to being a great side, and even now they still aren't consistent. Show some patience you people, and learn to appreciate what is actually happening in West Indies cricket at the moment. The rebuild has finally begun properly.

  • POSTED BY RodStark on | May 14, 2012, 23:19 GMT

    As an England fan, I certainly want to see my team win every game they play, and i think they have agood chance of doing so against WI. But I really don't want to see blow outs or rain-ruined games.

    But actually, WI could be pretty good. The recent series against Australia seemed pretty evenly matched most of the time. WI's biggest weakness is the top three--they always seem to be 3-down for very little. But the rest of the team is pretty good, and while I don't think Sammy is a great player, he seems to hold his own and his captaincy style seems to be just what WI needs right now. Does anyone think (based on recent history) that any other captain, such as Chanderpaul or even Gayle, would be as good at getting his team-mates to perform? Leave C-paul (and gayle if/when he returns) to concentrate on batting.

  • POSTED BY on | May 14, 2012, 22:16 GMT

    So why on Earth should we the fans of West Indies be satisfied, jumping up with joy because we competed till day 5 of a match of which 1 & a half days were lost to rain/ bad light & we still ended up losing? Our top order averages under 15 for an entire series but its all honky dory because we are competing. Our beloved captain drops @ least 1 catch an innings some of them like the 1 at Sabina off Dravid could have won us a series yet no worries because we are competing. @ least 3 times since this year tailenders have added over 100 runs against our bowling attack sometimes we lose by less than 100 runs or by 3 wickets but its a world of cotton candy, because we are competing. I guess international sports are played to compete not win. Maybe I am expecting too much

  • POSTED BY on | May 14, 2012, 22:06 GMT

    Now if you remember correctly our 3rd string team was fairly competitive vs Bangladesh & we did better than most expected @ the Champions trophy back in 09. Gavin Tonge took a 5 for & everyone was saying he & Roach were the next big thing in windies cricket. Despite all that Dyson was still fired / dismissed so why now are we putting up with Gibson AS A FULL COACH when we are doing not much better than Dyson did with a much weaker team? We are losing to teams that are average @ best! India have lost 8 test in a row away from home & it could easily have been 10 or 11 as we should have whipped them both @ home & in their own back yard last year. Australia is getting bowled out for less than 50 & losing to New Zealand. England jus got white washed by Pakistan who we should have beaten street & lane in our home season last year! All these teams are not so much better than us that with our strongest players along with sensible coaching & selection we cant do more than compete.

  • POSTED BY Mayfield on | May 14, 2012, 21:56 GMT

    @duklon stennet. Its better than what had been happening to the team previously. West Indies' Test record in recent years is grim. They have won only one of their previous 10 series - and that was against Bangladesh - and only two of their last 24 series stretching back to 2004. Indeed, since December 2003, West Indies have played 80 Tests, won just eight - including two against Bangladesh - and lost 45. It is not a record that inspires confidence. This record was achieved with all the players that some on this board keep mentioning. My question is, should the board continue with this? If you are being honest, you cannot argue that they should. Need I remind all the naysayers, that this record was achieved with Gayle, Sarwan, Bravo, et al. All very talented players, but and that's a very big but. What were the missing ingredients? I will leave that for all the naysayers to ponder. If they are honest, the answer to the question will be quite clear.

  • POSTED BY on | May 14, 2012, 21:50 GMT

    When the top players went on strike back in 09 before the series against Bangladesh John Dyson was coaching a 3rd string side much weaker than the one we have now & yet a nearly 40 year old retiree named Floyd Reifer was given the captaincy over Darren Sammy. What he did between then & November 2010 to get the captaincy in all formats is a mystery to many of us in the Caribbean as since then Jamaica has won nearly all the regional competitions except when Trinidad beat us in t20 finals. He hasn't set the regional competitions alight with his batting or bowling & I doubt Windward island has made the semi finals of 3 regional competitions with Sammy as captain in the past 4 years. So on what basis was he gifted the captaincy?

  • POSTED BY on | May 14, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    You can have all the passion, spirit, team work, camaraderie and whatever else but at the end of the day at the highest level you need talent and this side doesn't have it. If there is no rain I predict England to win 3-0 and to win the Lords test in two days.

  • POSTED BY on | May 14, 2012, 21:31 GMT

    "The only thing that has not been happening is the victories"...LOL...that must be is the quote of the week. What really are the WI fans settling for? When the captain can really say "all our Tests have been going five days" you know its sad.

  • POSTED BY toxic1007 on | May 14, 2012, 21:27 GMT

    Well we need to let Sammy take Gibson job he is the motivator and know every thing that the team is doing wrong or need to improved in ; so drop yourself and let a genuine batsman or bowler replace you and be the 12 man and provide all the coaching... Gibson is useless and it seems like you becoming his spoke person.

  • POSTED BY wifan16 on | May 14, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    @mrpontingtoyou, i wouldn't say they are being trashed as yet, but they will be when shiv leaves...the 2 games that sammy is referring to chanderpaul top scored in 3 of those 4 innings and the innings he didn't top scored the west indies were bowled out for 148...

  • POSTED BY phoenixsteve on | May 14, 2012, 20:02 GMT

    Although I am an England supporter, I wish the Windies well and hope that they play some competitive cricket. A strong Windies team is good for world cricket as these guys are flambouyant professionals and great sportsmen too! Good luck to Sammy and Co but COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | May 14, 2012, 19:55 GMT

    This team does at leasr turn up. though young and inexperienced they are all present and there- a major improvement. The bowlers bowl with heart and commitment to the task and the fielders are actually trying!!! I like some of the young batsmen- Bravo, Edwards, Powell. I think those three have a future at least and Braithwaite too maybe. Of course they are far off C'paul who still carries the show. and really good news is that the spinner takes wickets as well. If this is a lot to do with sammy then I am impressed. it all has a brave new world feel, and i would find it entertaining if sammy himself made a ton. That would be spectacular!! But i expect and hope England will win well.

  • POSTED BY MrPontingToYou on | May 14, 2012, 19:44 GMT

    @ wifan16, they already are, but don't tell their deluded fans that.

  • POSTED BY MrPontingToYou on | May 14, 2012, 19:41 GMT

    3-0, providing there's no rain.

  • POSTED BY on | May 14, 2012, 19:41 GMT

    Why are we West Indians so damn negative? People are askining why should we be satisfied with a team giving fight and being cohesive but not winning?... So we should have been satisfied with our team getting blown to bits in three days but once show up and win 1 test match(which had in all these "great players"). Sammy may not be the quickest but he has taken a four wicket haul as well as 4 five wicket hauls and has a better average and strike rate with the ball than fidel edwards. He's tied with steven finn as the 25th bowler in test rankings, what more must he do with the ball?! he must improve his batting i do agree though t be called a legitimate all rounder but people need to stop using negative stats alone.

  • POSTED BY on | May 14, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    Sammy talks a fine game indeed. He should rather take inspiration from former captains of the West Indies, guys like Lloyd who was one of the finest hitters of the cricketers alongside being a pretty sharp as captain, The great man Richard who took his game to another level when captaining, King Brian Charles who won games all on his own with the bat while captaining, even the much unfairly targeted Chris Gayle who withstood the Australians with the bat in the previous tour. None of them made it to the side just as captains. 783 runs and 64 wickets from 24 test matches, and you are the prime all-rounder in the West Indies!. Sammy has to contribute as a player, his contribution as captain seems to be keeping one of the better fast bowlers out of the side as well as one of the prime batters of the side, that is his all-round impact so far!.

  • POSTED BY on | May 14, 2012, 19:12 GMT

    Well said, captain.You summed up what the current team is all about: the passion, pride, fighting spirit/never-say-die attitude which have characterized its play recently. We just need to convert winning sessions in to Vs. Would like to see all of our batsmen #s 1-11, stand up like men and bat. Build innings & partnerships. Cut out loose/risky shots especially when the ball is new and/or at the start of an innings. Make their bowlers earn wickets, don't help them at all. I have every confidence that our bowlers will take care of business. We want you and your men to fight the Brits tooth and nail and don't roll over and play dead because their team is #1 nowadays. Play smart cricket. And if they win, they would've known they were in a battle. Then you could hold your head high and say after," we gave it all we had, but came up short." The fans could live with that. Except for a vocal minority, most Caribfans are behind your men. The Lord doesn't take sides but am asking Him to bless.

  • POSTED BY ReverseSweepIndia on | May 14, 2012, 19:05 GMT

    Best of luck Sammy! a true gentleman and way too much underestimated. If only one man can play it out along with Shiv, I think that should give your attack enough to bowl to. I am sure you will do much better than what my team did over there :)

  • POSTED BY on | May 14, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    Sammy has very big mouth!!! A T20 upset shud not be taken so hugely after wat happened with World cup winner India last summer.

  • POSTED BY on | May 14, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    what is sunil narayan,bravo,gayle,pollard doing in india, if these 4 where n eng,things wud have been diff.

  • POSTED BY lenedwards96yahoo.co.uk on | May 14, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    Once again WIndian supporters have to listen to another ridiculous article by a WIndian player. He has not told WIndian supporters why they lost the recent series to Australia, he has not talked about the batting and how he plans to address that problem, he has not talked about the bowling and the resolving of that problem, which is that Roach, Rampaul and Edwards either bowl too short or too full and end up being either pulled or cut with ridiculous ease.

    To any WIndian WHO WANTS TO SEE IT, he is a hopeless captain who cannot bat or bowl and it will be shown to be so, because if the weather holds up, England will win the series 3-0, and TWO of those victories will be won by an innings. By the way, I AM A WINDIES SUPPORTER.

  • POSTED BY Srini88 on | May 14, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    Sammy is one guy that IPL teams could pick.. Very good leader.. Indeed..

  • POSTED BY wifan16 on | May 14, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    Everyone in the west indies knows that when ever Chanderpaul retires, west indies will be thrash in test matches from every test playing nation!!

  • POSTED BY on | May 14, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    George Dobell, another great article and I hugely enjoy your work on Cricinfo: it's stellar. However, surely you can't mistake the West Indies for having won the last test series between the two. England took both tests against them before the 2009 Ashes series.

    I really do think however that this young, hungry West Indies side will surprise many. I have watched their progress of the last year and I hope they do themselves justice. 2-0 to England with all three matches going to the 5th day will be lovely.

  • POSTED BY inot on | May 14, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    Losers always find consolation in their losses and WI will not win if Sammy test matches when Sammy is their 4th bowler. Even in England where the ball swings Sammy weakens the attack and affects the performance of the other 3 bowlers. He plays as a specialist captain. Several better players sit on the bench while he plays with a performance record that gets many others discarded. Can Sammy on performance justify a place on the team ahead of Rampaul, Roach, Shillingford, Bishoo, Deonarine, Naraine or Sarwan? The only people who will answer yes are Gibson and the WICB.

  • POSTED BY KDoc on | May 14, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    Having watched WI for years, I can definitely see something different about this young team, their attitude to not roll over and give up (still happened in the 2nd innings of the 2012 series against Australia). All the best !!

  • POSTED BY vrn59 on | May 14, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    As a motivator and team-man, Darren Sammy is certainly impressive! He may not deserve a place in the Test side based on his seam bowling alone, but his astute man management skills are very handy indeed! I hope the WI put up a decent fight against England: the game of cricket is always better when the West Indians are involved!

  • POSTED BY kantipur on | May 14, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    As long as deserving players are not given chance to play for west indies they will neither win matches nor win respect from others. And I don't see west indies improving because of sammy. His bowling does not inspire, he keeps dropping important catches costing west indies matches and Series. And he talks about a match against second rate Indian team where they pushed for a victory. By the way how good is India? The team that lost 8-0 recently.

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  • POSTED BY kantipur on | May 14, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    As long as deserving players are not given chance to play for west indies they will neither win matches nor win respect from others. And I don't see west indies improving because of sammy. His bowling does not inspire, he keeps dropping important catches costing west indies matches and Series. And he talks about a match against second rate Indian team where they pushed for a victory. By the way how good is India? The team that lost 8-0 recently.

  • POSTED BY vrn59 on | May 14, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    As a motivator and team-man, Darren Sammy is certainly impressive! He may not deserve a place in the Test side based on his seam bowling alone, but his astute man management skills are very handy indeed! I hope the WI put up a decent fight against England: the game of cricket is always better when the West Indians are involved!

  • POSTED BY KDoc on | May 14, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    Having watched WI for years, I can definitely see something different about this young team, their attitude to not roll over and give up (still happened in the 2nd innings of the 2012 series against Australia). All the best !!

  • POSTED BY inot on | May 14, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    Losers always find consolation in their losses and WI will not win if Sammy test matches when Sammy is their 4th bowler. Even in England where the ball swings Sammy weakens the attack and affects the performance of the other 3 bowlers. He plays as a specialist captain. Several better players sit on the bench while he plays with a performance record that gets many others discarded. Can Sammy on performance justify a place on the team ahead of Rampaul, Roach, Shillingford, Bishoo, Deonarine, Naraine or Sarwan? The only people who will answer yes are Gibson and the WICB.

  • POSTED BY on | May 14, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    George Dobell, another great article and I hugely enjoy your work on Cricinfo: it's stellar. However, surely you can't mistake the West Indies for having won the last test series between the two. England took both tests against them before the 2009 Ashes series.

    I really do think however that this young, hungry West Indies side will surprise many. I have watched their progress of the last year and I hope they do themselves justice. 2-0 to England with all three matches going to the 5th day will be lovely.

  • POSTED BY wifan16 on | May 14, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    Everyone in the west indies knows that when ever Chanderpaul retires, west indies will be thrash in test matches from every test playing nation!!

  • POSTED BY Srini88 on | May 14, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    Sammy is one guy that IPL teams could pick.. Very good leader.. Indeed..

  • POSTED BY lenedwards96yahoo.co.uk on | May 14, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    Once again WIndian supporters have to listen to another ridiculous article by a WIndian player. He has not told WIndian supporters why they lost the recent series to Australia, he has not talked about the batting and how he plans to address that problem, he has not talked about the bowling and the resolving of that problem, which is that Roach, Rampaul and Edwards either bowl too short or too full and end up being either pulled or cut with ridiculous ease.

    To any WIndian WHO WANTS TO SEE IT, he is a hopeless captain who cannot bat or bowl and it will be shown to be so, because if the weather holds up, England will win the series 3-0, and TWO of those victories will be won by an innings. By the way, I AM A WINDIES SUPPORTER.

  • POSTED BY on | May 14, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    what is sunil narayan,bravo,gayle,pollard doing in india, if these 4 where n eng,things wud have been diff.

  • POSTED BY on | May 14, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    Sammy has very big mouth!!! A T20 upset shud not be taken so hugely after wat happened with World cup winner India last summer.