India v West Indies, 2nd Test, Mumbai November 13, 2013

'I thrive on criticism' - Sammy

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Manjrekar: 'Sammy helps keep temperaments in check'

Darren Sammy knows the feeling. He has been there many times before. After every West Indies loss, the first man questioned is Sammy. Does the spirit, the pride, the passion he brings make up for the imbalance this less-than-strike-bowler causes to the side? Would the side feel the need for an extra bowler had Sammy been a tearaway fast bowler looking to take wickets? Then again, Sammy is the only man of any sort of pace that has stayed fit in the West Indies side for any considerable period. He bowls long, consistent spells when others are being awry, although the last Test is not a good example of that.

So the question is asked of Sammy again. He has to justify his place in the side. More than batsmen who are throwing their wickets away like millionaires. More than bowlers who are missing their length while striving for pace. "I have said many times before I thrive on criticism," Sammy said. "Probably it is the way the big man works above. I need to be under pressure to bring the best out of me. I have been in that situation from the day I started my career.

"To be honest right now I am not even worried. There is nothing more that anybody can say that will faze me," he said. "I criticise myself as well. I am not really worried about the criticism. I am here to do a job to the best of my ability. When the selectors who put me in that position feel it is time to move on, then so be it. We have moved on from Sammy as captain in one-day cricket. I am still enjoying the game. That [criticism] is the least of my worries right now."

This time, though, Chris Gayle has joined Sammy after looking uncomfortable in Kolkata. What is he going through? "I don't know if I could go into his mind," Sammy said. "I am not worried about Chris. Chris is somebody that could come up on any given day, like he has done all over the world, and destroy any attack. Hopefully he can start in this match, but over the years we have learned to not rely on one person. We all fight for each other together."

As a batting unit, which he now should be considered a part of because West Indies are playing only five specialist batsmen, there is a lot of work to do after the disappointing show in the three-day defeat in Kolkata. "I think it's more of us applying ourselves, being mentally tougher," Sammy said. "Both teams came into this series playing one-day cricket. India adjusted quicker than us. We were not patient enough. Once we were put under pressure, we didn't respond well enough. Something to work on."

Sammy spoke about working on the mental side of things after the last Test, but how can you change it in three-four days? "It is up to each individual to go back to that wonderful place where you were happy and confident," Sammy said. "To go back to that one good innings you had, that good bowling spell, that moment of brilliance you had, and fall back on it and get your inspiration.

"It is about getting inspiration from whatever, your kids, your family, your mum, your dad, whatever. To go out there and fight for yourself and your team-mates. It is going to be tough. It is always difficult to face India in India. It is a tough battle. But this team likes a challenge. We have to show we can rise to the challenge, and give Sachin a good send-off."

About the send-off, Sammy is hoping his bowlers will be extra motivated and queuing up to take that historic wicket, Tendulkar's last. "From the moment we heard Mumbai was going to be his last Test, all the bowlers were quite motivated," Sammy said. "This is a chance to go down in history. The last stroke he would play in any cricket match. Your name could down in there. The guys are motivated. Knowing Tino Best, he could be in his 14th over, and if Sachin comes in he would want to bowl."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY sk123 on | November 13, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    Sammy is not glamerous. He doesn't have Sachin's straight drive or Steyn's pace. What he has is a big heart. He didn't let his limited abiity stop him from trying. In my opinion he has overachieved considering the amount of talent he has and some of that has rubbed off on the WI team as well. If WI goes on to become stronger cricketing nation in future, I'll give Sammy a lot of credit for it. He is not only an underrated player, but also a very underrated captain. I have seen him plan dismissals of some big names in cricket and lot of times with the ball in his hand.

  • POSTED BY on | November 14, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    I am not surprised by the observation of 'Whispering Death". Holding was a bowler of class and performance. Sammy was a poor pick and continues to be a poor pick and a robber of some aspiring youth who has the potential to rise to the level of our stars of yester year. Sammy is too consumed with the glory of Captaincy to be honest enough to admit that he lacks the ability and thought prowess for the position. He however is not the single misfit in this scenario. Gibson and others around him seem reluctant to seek help with training and selection. Why do they insist on picking Tino Best? Are they mistakenly thinking that his name will translate into success?. Look on the other side of this sheet, the answer is printed there. The older Bravo? for what purpose. He like Sammy both have a predilection for bowling themselves toward the end of an innings to get tail enders that PROVIDE USELESS FIGURES and then convince themselves that they are first class performers.

  • POSTED BY on | November 14, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    Mr Holding is not saying anything sensible because he is not making recommendations as to who should replace Sammy. So the West Indies should change the captain because the widndies failed in India?

  • POSTED BY on | November 14, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    Being a nice guy who quotes the bible is not necessarily a good cricketer. Holding is not saying anything that any knowledgeable cricketer does not know about Sammy. You cannot look at Sammy and said that he has mastered any aspect of Test cricket. Yes, he claps a lot and run around the field at the fall of an opponent like an high school player, even when his team is loosing by an inning. He looks pathetic going thru that ritual as an adult player. That is Sammy's cricket. I want to add to Holdings observation by adding that, WI can never be a first rated test team with Sammy as a Test player and Ramdin as a keeper either. Ramdin is an average gloves man and definitely cannot bat. No successful test team has ever have a terrible batsman as a keeper as Ramdin.

  • POSTED BY jimbond on | November 14, 2013, 3:21 GMT

    Its sad to see this west Indian side, which though has some talented players, is not exactly a stable team. The only constant is Chanderpaul- it is around him that the team revolves. In the last test, Shillingford also proved his worth, and if the Mumbai pitch offers some help for pace bowlers, Best and Cotterel may also hold their own. Powell and Bravo can be seen as players for the future and their presence can be justified. Gayle plays an occasional match winning innings- though these are becoming rarer by the day. The team will gain a lot in balance by replacing Sammy by a pure batsman or a pure bowler, or even by someone like Deonarine who offers stiff resistance with the bat and is useful on spinning tracks as a bowler. It is not enough to have a big heart- the big heart should also translate into performance.

  • POSTED BY WalkingWicket11 on | November 14, 2013, 3:00 GMT

    He batted at No. 7, then bowled 12 overs out of 129.4 overs! What exactly is his role in the team? If he is an all-rounder, he has to bowl a lot more than that. If he is a batsman, he has to bat higher.

  • POSTED BY rodzstars on | November 14, 2013, 2:57 GMT

    after seeing big bravo tactics as wi captain sammys good right der leave em alone jus hope d test cud last 5 days and be competitive so master tendulkar cud enjoy his last tink he'll enjoy dat better dan a 100 in an india 2 to 1 victory in 3 days

  • POSTED BY on | November 14, 2013, 2:46 GMT

    sorry i dont agree some people have short memeries ,sammy has done well ,when you think of just a couple of years ago the wi were playing as individuals ,now at least there playing as a team .sammy is not the problem ,the other 3 phases are the problem batting ,is a big problem plenty of talent but no application ,the teams batting is fireing on only 2 cylinders chiv and samuals. the pace bowling is shocking ,the spinners we have a chance , there are 4 or 5 spinners to pick from so at least thats something now for ramdin how inconsistent is he he might be a good keeper cant motivate the team as a good keeper should , has talent with the bat but no heart at all.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | November 14, 2013, 2:37 GMT

    sammy is dead weight in sinking WI ship.

  • POSTED BY InsideHedge on | November 14, 2013, 1:58 GMT

    You can criticize Sammy as much as you like but he's a gracious man. The same can't be said about many of today's attention seeking cricketers, and quite a few former ones (no names, Shane).

    BTW, recently Sunny was banging on about how no-one will break Sachin's 51 Test Tons or his 200 caps. I have to disagree, Kallis is pretty close to 51 Tons and Cook could break it too. As for 200 caps, I can see Chanderpaul overhaul it, he shows no signs of decline whatsoever. Also, England and Oz play a heck of a lot of Tests, again Cook is a contender.

    It wasn't that long ao that I felt Sachin's 49 ODI Tons would never be broken but suddenly Virat looks a contender. It just goes to show that all records are meant to be broken but some are just plain difficult to overhaul, namely aggregate records. Sachin's ODI aggregate is simply astonishing, and his total #of international games (600+) is mind boggling.

    'However, never discount a new kid on the block who goes on to become a titan of the game

  • POSTED BY sk123 on | November 13, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    Sammy is not glamerous. He doesn't have Sachin's straight drive or Steyn's pace. What he has is a big heart. He didn't let his limited abiity stop him from trying. In my opinion he has overachieved considering the amount of talent he has and some of that has rubbed off on the WI team as well. If WI goes on to become stronger cricketing nation in future, I'll give Sammy a lot of credit for it. He is not only an underrated player, but also a very underrated captain. I have seen him plan dismissals of some big names in cricket and lot of times with the ball in his hand.

  • POSTED BY on | November 14, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    I am not surprised by the observation of 'Whispering Death". Holding was a bowler of class and performance. Sammy was a poor pick and continues to be a poor pick and a robber of some aspiring youth who has the potential to rise to the level of our stars of yester year. Sammy is too consumed with the glory of Captaincy to be honest enough to admit that he lacks the ability and thought prowess for the position. He however is not the single misfit in this scenario. Gibson and others around him seem reluctant to seek help with training and selection. Why do they insist on picking Tino Best? Are they mistakenly thinking that his name will translate into success?. Look on the other side of this sheet, the answer is printed there. The older Bravo? for what purpose. He like Sammy both have a predilection for bowling themselves toward the end of an innings to get tail enders that PROVIDE USELESS FIGURES and then convince themselves that they are first class performers.

  • POSTED BY on | November 14, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    Mr Holding is not saying anything sensible because he is not making recommendations as to who should replace Sammy. So the West Indies should change the captain because the widndies failed in India?

  • POSTED BY on | November 14, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    Being a nice guy who quotes the bible is not necessarily a good cricketer. Holding is not saying anything that any knowledgeable cricketer does not know about Sammy. You cannot look at Sammy and said that he has mastered any aspect of Test cricket. Yes, he claps a lot and run around the field at the fall of an opponent like an high school player, even when his team is loosing by an inning. He looks pathetic going thru that ritual as an adult player. That is Sammy's cricket. I want to add to Holdings observation by adding that, WI can never be a first rated test team with Sammy as a Test player and Ramdin as a keeper either. Ramdin is an average gloves man and definitely cannot bat. No successful test team has ever have a terrible batsman as a keeper as Ramdin.

  • POSTED BY jimbond on | November 14, 2013, 3:21 GMT

    Its sad to see this west Indian side, which though has some talented players, is not exactly a stable team. The only constant is Chanderpaul- it is around him that the team revolves. In the last test, Shillingford also proved his worth, and if the Mumbai pitch offers some help for pace bowlers, Best and Cotterel may also hold their own. Powell and Bravo can be seen as players for the future and their presence can be justified. Gayle plays an occasional match winning innings- though these are becoming rarer by the day. The team will gain a lot in balance by replacing Sammy by a pure batsman or a pure bowler, or even by someone like Deonarine who offers stiff resistance with the bat and is useful on spinning tracks as a bowler. It is not enough to have a big heart- the big heart should also translate into performance.

  • POSTED BY WalkingWicket11 on | November 14, 2013, 3:00 GMT

    He batted at No. 7, then bowled 12 overs out of 129.4 overs! What exactly is his role in the team? If he is an all-rounder, he has to bowl a lot more than that. If he is a batsman, he has to bat higher.

  • POSTED BY rodzstars on | November 14, 2013, 2:57 GMT

    after seeing big bravo tactics as wi captain sammys good right der leave em alone jus hope d test cud last 5 days and be competitive so master tendulkar cud enjoy his last tink he'll enjoy dat better dan a 100 in an india 2 to 1 victory in 3 days

  • POSTED BY on | November 14, 2013, 2:46 GMT

    sorry i dont agree some people have short memeries ,sammy has done well ,when you think of just a couple of years ago the wi were playing as individuals ,now at least there playing as a team .sammy is not the problem ,the other 3 phases are the problem batting ,is a big problem plenty of talent but no application ,the teams batting is fireing on only 2 cylinders chiv and samuals. the pace bowling is shocking ,the spinners we have a chance , there are 4 or 5 spinners to pick from so at least thats something now for ramdin how inconsistent is he he might be a good keeper cant motivate the team as a good keeper should , has talent with the bat but no heart at all.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | November 14, 2013, 2:37 GMT

    sammy is dead weight in sinking WI ship.

  • POSTED BY InsideHedge on | November 14, 2013, 1:58 GMT

    You can criticize Sammy as much as you like but he's a gracious man. The same can't be said about many of today's attention seeking cricketers, and quite a few former ones (no names, Shane).

    BTW, recently Sunny was banging on about how no-one will break Sachin's 51 Test Tons or his 200 caps. I have to disagree, Kallis is pretty close to 51 Tons and Cook could break it too. As for 200 caps, I can see Chanderpaul overhaul it, he shows no signs of decline whatsoever. Also, England and Oz play a heck of a lot of Tests, again Cook is a contender.

    It wasn't that long ao that I felt Sachin's 49 ODI Tons would never be broken but suddenly Virat looks a contender. It just goes to show that all records are meant to be broken but some are just plain difficult to overhaul, namely aggregate records. Sachin's ODI aggregate is simply astonishing, and his total #of international games (600+) is mind boggling.

    'However, never discount a new kid on the block who goes on to become a titan of the game

  • POSTED BY on | November 14, 2013, 1:50 GMT

    @HDG1978 why not have them both score runs, their both fantastic players and deserve to score runs, especially in india.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | November 14, 2013, 1:19 GMT

    I am from Sammy's native Saint Lucia, and I've been one of the few people that have been arguing this very point that Michael Holding just made. We have a captain who's in the team because he's a nice guy. He has done nothing to retain a place in the team, needless to say the captaincy. We are willing to sacrifice the future of West Indies cricket because of a sense of obligation to Sammy. You're failing as a quote n quote all rounder so here's your marching order.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | November 14, 2013, 1:18 GMT

    not sure we going to see two great players like these two for a long time to come..the new breed just don't have what it takes...

  • POSTED BY android_user on | November 14, 2013, 1:16 GMT

    big up the great shiv..congratulations on your 150 test..the amazon tiga

  • POSTED BY on | November 13, 2013, 23:07 GMT

    sammy does not deserve to be in wi test side, imagine narine instead of sammy

  • POSTED BY bbpp on | November 13, 2013, 22:23 GMT

    Sammy is a good guy and gives 100% and cannot be blamed for being selected. The present WI establishment wanted someone like him to toe the line and the emphasis of the coach that being able to run fast is more important than scoring runs is why he is still on the team. Gayle and some of the others are perceived as trouble makers and Gayle was basically dropped at one time but couldn't be kept out.

  • POSTED BY on | November 13, 2013, 21:29 GMT

    @ Mahesh S. Panicker What about when Sammy side had Australia in trouble many times at home. Six and seven down many times only the lower order saving them? They challenge England in England and lost a close test series 2-1 to Pakistan who ranked quite farther than the WI at the time. Selective memory you have. Gayle record is even worse than Sammy as captain.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | November 13, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    Sammy is really good for a short format game. WI should really groom a new captain for the Test Format. Sammy appears to be a good PR guy who does not compete with anyone for a spot in the XI. But the Selectors should really question their decision for a Captain who is in the XI just for captaincy & keeps making wrong moves as a captain. I do hope he has better moves as a captain in the second test. He needs to get the best out of his top 5 + press home the advantage when the opposition is 5 down. Not having bowlers like Bravo & Narine is a big handicap. There was even a RH leg spinner who was very good but he is unheard of now. WI definitely need their best team when they play in India. Sending a second team with no big names will not help their cause nor will gain popularity in India. WI A that toured India 2 months back, had some good stars including their Captain. That team fared better than this WI team!

  • POSTED BY on | November 13, 2013, 20:52 GMT

    Well problem is that WI team dont have too many options ! playing with 2 fast bowlers & 2 spinners is the correct bowling combination in these conditions. they need a solid batsman at no. 6 then u can have ramdin n sammy at 7 & 8 respectively. But in that case Sammy has to play the role of 2nd seamer. samuels need to use his bowling skill as well.

  • POSTED BY on | November 13, 2013, 20:48 GMT

    I wonder which other test side would have s guy like this as captain?

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | November 13, 2013, 20:42 GMT

    Sorry sammy , you are deadweight now. Your time is up. Before i used to think you have role to play. Because i always though WI team under you always fought even if it lost. But calcutta games showed me , your team is journeyman team , just to come to collect moola. You neither bowl , neither bat , now neither captain. Just fill the spot of captaincy. Where is the fight ?. WI team caved in calcutta. Why samuel not using his brain. He is only one who can bring the fight to india but he also choked. This WI team lacks heart.

  • POSTED BY BRUTALANALYST on | November 13, 2013, 20:28 GMT

    @DOnkey unfortunately India will only be batting once again here I'm almost positive. If they bat first they will probably put 550 plus on board and bowl W.I out twice or W.I will again bat first put out weak score and India will go past it by 200 or so and then bowl them out in repeat of first game. The W.I side look like sitting ducks Indias 6-10 are better than W.I's top 5 .

  • POSTED BY Xxx25 on | November 13, 2013, 20:28 GMT

    When has Sammy bowled long consistent spells? Please point them out.

  • POSTED BY BRUTALANALYST on | November 13, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    Kirk Edwards and Deonarine should be in the Test 11 for India Permaul Sammy Ramdin and even Darren Bravo are just not good enough Edwards should replace Bravo Deonarine Permaul a bowler for Sammy and any other batsman keeper in W.I for Ramdin (I like look of J Carter) but anyone is better than Ramdin right now so Walton who is out there should play here. Sammy's had a good run and helped W.I get back on track however as far as Tests go this should be his last outing W.I need to move on before the Kiwi series starts.

  • POSTED BY on | November 13, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    It is a myth that Darren Sammy has brought about a major increase in the fortunes of his side. He's there mostly because he's a man of the establishment. The West Indies won a test against England and South Africa under Chris Gayle's leadership, they fought hard against Australia under his leadership, they won a series against England when he was the skipper and bowled them out for 51 in the process. But they were never able to sustain the good level of performance. Under Sammy, they won tests against Bangladesh, New Zealand and Zimbabwe but hasn't shown any remarkable improvement against other sides. Sammy isn't good enough to make the side as batsman or bowler, and the overall package he offers isn't good enough either. He can have a good day now and then. I don't think he can improve much as a bowler, but as a batsman, he can play with the responsibility of a captain. He has the shots, has to have a good temperament and if he can have that, he could be a handy number 7.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | November 13, 2013, 19:33 GMT

    Sammy is over rated because he sticked to the words of there board wen all other players were on strike and WI sending there B side in champions trophy 2009 .it will b better if captaincy is handed over to either Gayle o bravo. .

  • POSTED BY HDG1978 on | November 13, 2013, 18:14 GMT

    @ Advanced_Donkeys Hope it turns out to be the exact reverse of your prediction. 100,100 for SRT and a pair for Shiv Chanders.

  • POSTED BY IndTheBest on | November 13, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    Siva has been a Dravid of WI team for long time. He is due his respect. This is a coincidence or may be a unique record of two players playing 150th and 200th test the same time. My feeling Sachin with make a half century (about 67 runs)!

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | November 13, 2013, 17:35 GMT

    This again. Sammy seems wedded to the underdog mentality. He's said before that he takes wickets because batsmen underestimate him. How about bowling well, so batsman actually fear you? He's supposed to be in the team as a professional captain and all-round nice guy, but he's not good enough to be either a test bowler or batsman or all-rounder. Holding's right, he should stick to LO games.

  • POSTED BY Advanced_Donkeys on | November 13, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    sachin 0,0, for sure....shiv 100,100 sure...

  • POSTED BY Advanced_Donkeys on | November 13, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    sachin 0,0, for sure....shiv 100,100 sure...

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | November 13, 2013, 17:35 GMT

    This again. Sammy seems wedded to the underdog mentality. He's said before that he takes wickets because batsmen underestimate him. How about bowling well, so batsman actually fear you? He's supposed to be in the team as a professional captain and all-round nice guy, but he's not good enough to be either a test bowler or batsman or all-rounder. Holding's right, he should stick to LO games.

  • POSTED BY IndTheBest on | November 13, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    Siva has been a Dravid of WI team for long time. He is due his respect. This is a coincidence or may be a unique record of two players playing 150th and 200th test the same time. My feeling Sachin with make a half century (about 67 runs)!

  • POSTED BY HDG1978 on | November 13, 2013, 18:14 GMT

    @ Advanced_Donkeys Hope it turns out to be the exact reverse of your prediction. 100,100 for SRT and a pair for Shiv Chanders.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | November 13, 2013, 19:33 GMT

    Sammy is over rated because he sticked to the words of there board wen all other players were on strike and WI sending there B side in champions trophy 2009 .it will b better if captaincy is handed over to either Gayle o bravo. .

  • POSTED BY on | November 13, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    It is a myth that Darren Sammy has brought about a major increase in the fortunes of his side. He's there mostly because he's a man of the establishment. The West Indies won a test against England and South Africa under Chris Gayle's leadership, they fought hard against Australia under his leadership, they won a series against England when he was the skipper and bowled them out for 51 in the process. But they were never able to sustain the good level of performance. Under Sammy, they won tests against Bangladesh, New Zealand and Zimbabwe but hasn't shown any remarkable improvement against other sides. Sammy isn't good enough to make the side as batsman or bowler, and the overall package he offers isn't good enough either. He can have a good day now and then. I don't think he can improve much as a bowler, but as a batsman, he can play with the responsibility of a captain. He has the shots, has to have a good temperament and if he can have that, he could be a handy number 7.

  • POSTED BY BRUTALANALYST on | November 13, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    Kirk Edwards and Deonarine should be in the Test 11 for India Permaul Sammy Ramdin and even Darren Bravo are just not good enough Edwards should replace Bravo Deonarine Permaul a bowler for Sammy and any other batsman keeper in W.I for Ramdin (I like look of J Carter) but anyone is better than Ramdin right now so Walton who is out there should play here. Sammy's had a good run and helped W.I get back on track however as far as Tests go this should be his last outing W.I need to move on before the Kiwi series starts.

  • POSTED BY Xxx25 on | November 13, 2013, 20:28 GMT

    When has Sammy bowled long consistent spells? Please point them out.

  • POSTED BY BRUTALANALYST on | November 13, 2013, 20:28 GMT

    @DOnkey unfortunately India will only be batting once again here I'm almost positive. If they bat first they will probably put 550 plus on board and bowl W.I out twice or W.I will again bat first put out weak score and India will go past it by 200 or so and then bowl them out in repeat of first game. The W.I side look like sitting ducks Indias 6-10 are better than W.I's top 5 .

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | November 13, 2013, 20:42 GMT

    Sorry sammy , you are deadweight now. Your time is up. Before i used to think you have role to play. Because i always though WI team under you always fought even if it lost. But calcutta games showed me , your team is journeyman team , just to come to collect moola. You neither bowl , neither bat , now neither captain. Just fill the spot of captaincy. Where is the fight ?. WI team caved in calcutta. Why samuel not using his brain. He is only one who can bring the fight to india but he also choked. This WI team lacks heart.