ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

South Africa v West Indies, World Cup 2011, Delhi

Sammy laments not converting starts

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 25, 2011

Comments: 18 | Text size: A | A

Before West Indies' opening World Cup match against South Africa, Darren Sammy had said he wanted the cricket community of the Caribbean to wake up on Thursday morning and discover that their team had broken open the World Cup with a performance to remember. After the game at the Kotla on Thursday night, what they would see and read though, was a scorecard that reflected one more game had slipped away from his team's dangerously careless grasp.

A seven-wicket defeat to South Africa could have been expected, for Graeme Smith's gamblers had sent warning shots across the subcontinent after their performance on Thursday night, but Sammy spoke of how West Indies threw it all away. "We had guys getting starts and none of us carried on. That's where we lost out," he said. "At 41 overs, we were 201 and our allrounders were still there. We had [Kieron] Pollard, [Dwayne] Bravo and myself ... we could have got to 270."

Sammy admitted that getting to 222 was actually a bonus, "given that myself, Chris [Gayle] and Pollard didn't do what we were supposed to. If any of us would have done something ..." he said and trailed off. The possibility of people like Gayle and Pollard performing to their optimum is probably what Sammy hopes will keep keep the Caribbean fans waking up on cricket mornings with some optimism.

The Delhi wicket has always made stern demands on bowlers and West Indies had, Sammy said, already decided to bat first. "Before the match everyone was uncertain as to how the pitch would play but looking at it, we should have scored 270-plus on the wicket." West Indies, he said, could only have made a match of Thursday's game had they got into South Africa's middle order. "From what we had seen in their series against India, we didn't think their middle order looked too strong, they have quite a few young players." He said that while opportunities had been created, "AB [de Villiers] batted like a senior and took South Africa home."

There were four referrals in the West Indies innings, and barring one that went in favour of Darren Bravo in the opening over of the match, South Africa were at the winning end of all. Sammy, who managed to retain his humour at the end of what must have been a tough evening, stepped aside from stirring up trouble when asked about the UDRS Lite in operation at the World Cup without both Snicko and Hot Spot, though he did hint that there were some decisions he was not sure of even after the referrals. "I think it's a good addition to the World Cup. Less mistakes are likely to be made," he said and went on, with a laugh, "The decisions that were made [in the match] clearly showed us the ball was hitting the stumps". The laugh however was as good as him, saying the word, "Not" in his head. Sammy ended the debate with, "So there is nothing much I can say about that, it was just Hawk Eye for us."

There would have been much debate about whether West Indies could have played an extra specialist spinner in their left-armer Nikita Miller to give Sulieman Benn some company and the team another slow bowling option, for they are with the current combination far too dependent on the part-time spin of Gayle. Miller could have been included in the team had Darren Bravo been asked to keep wickets instead of Devon Smith, who replaced the injured Carlton Baugh in the squad. Sammy would have none of it, "The guys who are picked in the XI to bowl are capable of doing the job but you have to be consistent to exert the pressure ... I don't think we misread the pitch." He was asked whether he missed Miller and said that hypothetically, "who knows what he could have," before adding, "after I lost [Dwayne] Bravo, I surely did miss him."

Dwayne Bravo's injury and West Indies' defeat may have distracted attention from the Darren Bravo innings, but Sammy's assessment of his No. 3's 73 was measured. At the start he said, "Darren is a very confident young player, most people compare him to Brian [Lara]. He really looks like Brian. He is a good asset for us. From the time he has made his debut he has batted well for us and I hope he continues." When asked about Darren Bravo's progress in his brief international career, Sammy said, "He played really well in Sri Lanka; all I would say is that when he gets to fifty, he must try to convert it to a hundred, which I am sure he will do."

West Indies' next match is against Netherlands in Delhi on February 28.


Comments: 18 
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Posted by lugu on (February 27, 2011, 17:26 GMT)

west indies stop blabbering stat batting thats my advise to the headless windies team

Posted by Kamau on (February 26, 2011, 19:09 GMT)

Agree with the possibility of playing Pollard at the top of the order with Gayle as if they 'click',....WOW! However, not for the next game as we MUST win to get points on the board so my team will be Gayle, Smith, Bravo II, Sarwan, Pollard, Chanderpaul, Thomas, Sammy, Benn, Rampaul, Roach. Pollard I place at 5 for more batting time. Chanders experienced in batting with the tail. Rampaul comes in as he has variation with some pace. Gayle to back up Benn with the spin. The batsmen are more than capable (top 6) to post 250+ on their own. The tail will give about 20-40 more runs once the top do their thing. We cannot just depend on Gayle to score 100+ everytime. The top 6 need to aim for 50 as their first target, with anything extra as bonus. Know what you can defend, get it then DEFEND IT! WE CAN DO IT. WE WILL WIN!! (and back off Sammy!!)

Posted by Monte on (February 26, 2011, 15:28 GMT)

I really want to know who selects the team, decides whether to bat or field first, who bats in which order and when the power play is taken. During the past ODI's I have watched the captain or coach look to be someone with no clue or can assess the current situation.West Indies might as well open with Gayle and Barren Bravo, Because in the few ODI's and test matches the boy has been coming to the crease quite early.My team would be Gayle,Daren Bravo, Sarwan, Chanderpaul,Marlon Samuels,Dwayne Bravo, Pollard,Sammy,Benn,Roach and Russell. Sent Ravi Rampaul home.Pollard and sammy need to start putting in performance on the field and stop talking nonsense at times.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 26, 2011, 11:21 GMT)

Sammy is one of our weakest links!!! At least with Lara and Gayle they could hold their own!!

Posted by Amahl on (February 26, 2011, 7:23 GMT)

I think that Gayle needs to take more time at the crease. He is absolutely vital to the WI and when he fails, they always tend to implode, particularly considering their middle order form has been rocky. He has fallen to spin a number of times now and it seems like a lot of teams have found him out. He is a better player than that and needs to adjust. Rather than a quick 30 or 40, they need a big innings from Gayle. I would also be concerned about the likes of Chanderpaul and Sarwan, two players who looked really out of sorts, particularly the former. Chanderpaul essentially holds the middle order together whilst Sarwan has returned to the team after quite a lengthy absence. It was the first time I have seen Darren Bravo bat and I was highly impressed. Hopefully he can remain consistent. I would also like to see Pollard batting a bit higher, perhaps somewhere in the middle order to give him a real opportunity to bat, not just a few overs where he is expected to pinch hit.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 26, 2011, 6:11 GMT)

Hope we can win this buddy

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 26, 2011, 3:23 GMT)

Sammy, what were your figures again?

Posted by Kirwin on (February 25, 2011, 23:56 GMT)

Try Pollard with Gayle to open against the associate teams.

Posted by Len on (February 25, 2011, 23:10 GMT)

Once again WIndies fans have been subjecting to inane ramblings of a WIndian captain or manager when making a match assessment. Sammy believes WIndies can "beat anybody on their day". The truth is that WIndies have found it difficult to beat the top playing nations for a long time now which means it is a STUPID COMMENT FOR SAMMY TO BE MAKING. In regards to our batting, it relies on Gayle who never make big scores when the pressure is on, Darren Bravo made another fifty before throwing his wicket away yet again as did Smith, Chanderpaul and Dwayne Bravo. Apart from Roach and Benn, our attack is useless and I think it's going to be difficult beating the Netherlands.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 25, 2011, 18:20 GMT)

when is Sammy going to retire.In the interest of WI cricket if he is commited to seeing the team get out of this quagmire he must say goodbye.If however his commitment is to the captains salary only ,then he will cotinue and help the selectors and Hilaire finish mash up WI cricket. You could pick a genuine squad of 20 players as we speak and no Sammy ,COME ON !!!.

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