West Indies in New Zealand 2013-14 November 30, 2013

Sammy hopes to learn India lesson


Darren Sammy hopes the more laid back environment provided by a tour of New Zealand will help his side recover from the two heavy Test defeats they suffered in India.

West Indies could barely be facing more contrasting conditions: the heat and intensity of the subcontinent, dominated by Sachin Tendulkar's farewell, have been replaced by the calm, green, temperate New Zealand.

After a 30-hour journey that took them from India via Dubai, Bangkok, Sydney and then a night in Christchurch, where they met up with the advance party of Test players who have been facing a New Zealand XI, the squad arrived on a breezy, showery Dunedin today.

"One minute you are in India in the hot, sunny atmosphere and the next you are in Dunedin where the breeze can blow you off your feet," Sammy said, reflecting on the life of the international cricketer.

He acknowledged that the change in conditions will be a tough test for his side - who are without the injured Chris Gayle at the top of the order - although he will have taken solace from seeing Shivnarine Chanderpaul making runs in the warm-up fixture.

"The quick turnaround from India, getting used to the conditions and adapting as quickly as possible will pose a challenge," Sammy said. "India was a lesson for us, to show us where we are compared to the top teams in the world. Now we are playing a team where we are evenly matched. They will know conditions very well and for around three-quarters of our squad it's their first time here."

Sammy was being generous with the three-quarter estimate: now that Gayle is absent, only two of the squad - Chanderpaul and Denesh Ramdin - have Test experience in New Zealand, and Ramdin averages 7.14 in his five matches.

"It's a new environment," Sammy added. "India is cricket crazy and it was all about Sachin - the media was all crazy, but here the guys can relax with not so many cameras in their faces all the time and we can focus more on the game."

The squad is not yet at its full complement with Shane Shillingford and Marlon Samuels having travelled to Perth for tests on their bowling actions after being reported in India. Ottis Gibson, the coach, is with them and the trio are due to arrive in Dunedin over the weekend. Currently, Shillingford and Samuels remain available for the first Test although that could change if the outcome of the testing goes against them.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 2, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    @MNGC, you might be mistaken in saying that against ZIM, BAN and NZ, Ramdin had a higher average than Bravo, if you meant Darren Bravo. As I recall, Darren had spectacular numbers against these oppositions. I recall a 195 against BAN, I believe.

    I think that WI would do well to train a new keeper because Ramdin has been there for over 8 years and is barely hanging on to a place pn the team. It's hard to believe that you all have no regional keeper who can't to better than Ramdin, given the same length of time, especially with the bat.

  • Dummy4 on December 2, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    I think WI can start training Charles, even if makes 25 per innings, that going to be 2 points higher than Ramdin has made throughout his career. And people who are questioning Sammy, watch out, he is going to be handy with his gentle medium in swinging conditions. of course, it affects the balance with Roach or Rampaul sitting out.

  • michael on December 2, 2013, 1:19 GMT

    @allan alexander. Whilst it is true that Ramdin made this high average against lowly teams, it is higher than what was made by those above him in the order against the same opponents except for Chanderpaul and Samuels. If Powell, Gayle, Braithwaite, Darren Bravo, Sammy, Deonarine were all making more runs then your case would be valid. As it stands he deserves his pick as a BATSMAN before all of these mentioned. Unless of course you dump all six mentioned first.

    WI fans are letting feelings cloud the real issue in that the top's continual failure is being deflected to Ramdin. Fix the top 6 before dealing with #7. Start with dropping Gayle - just check his stats from 2012.

  • Reuel on December 2, 2013, 0:42 GMT

    @Brutalanalyst Not like i'm picking up for Ramdin, but the most of the wi team have been doing horrible in test cricket for a long time now. So why single out one player? What about Best, Sammy, and the other players who under perform or simply don't turn up? The reality is that our top order is failing and has failed consistently, most time, one player performs and the rest just fade away.

  • Sanjay on December 1, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    I'm afraid the WI bowling attack looks terrible for the challenge in NZ. Back in India, they had a one man bowling attack. How ironic that WI have now added Narine, he'll make no difference in these conditions. Also, WI are unlikely to play two spinners even if Shillingford returns with an all-clear.

    It was bizarre to see Sammy not even use the part time spinners (Gayle, Samuels) in India, even Chanders can turn his arm over. Yet the media never questioned him post play. Most of the cricket media is shockingly weak, they fail to ask the tough questions and give updates on injured players but will write pages of Cardusesqe reports/analysis.

    What's the latest on Roach? Anyone know how long he'll be out? Why was he in India in the 1st place? What's the track record of the medical team? Why do so many Windian bowlers break down? Why is Rampaul not part of this squad? Are there fitness questions surrounding him? He always looks to be carrying excess baggage.

  • Sanjay on December 1, 2013, 22:18 GMT

    Poor Ramdin is taking a beating, it's true he hasn't delivered but some are upset purely because he called out Richards. I take it then that if you're a great player from the past, you can pretty much say anything you want. Look at Boycott, pretty much everything he says makes sense but he's extremely unpopular with the players because he lacks subtlety, and an ability to make criticism constructive. One bad day for England and he just lays into them like a heavyweight boxer.

    @mngc: Agree with the comment on Chanders too. Not only does he expose the tail (right thru his career) but it's incredible how often he's pulled out of a game immediately after having a good one, often with bizarre or unexplained ailments. It's as if to prove how important he is to the side.

  • Ali on December 1, 2013, 19:56 GMT

    stueps ..

    WI was taught the same lesson 2 years ago in India !

    and 2 years later, they made the same mistakes .....

    for example: They AGAIN did not use Ravi Rampaul (who was the best bowler in India 2 years ago, and the Best Bowler again this series) In the Tests .......

  • o on December 1, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    @Allan Alexander I'd hope WI have Jonathan Carter working on his keeping, I see he is another one of these guys who can keep and he is clearly the best rounded batsman technically out of the bunch Charles/Simmons/Thomas/Pooran that has potential to play all formats. Pooran is still a teenager so in future years he could also become a candidate I'm sure there are others out there to.

  • Dummy4 on December 1, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    MARC FERMIN Dhoni and Ramdin debuted Test cricket in the same year the former in Dec 2005 and the latter in July 2005. I agree with you that India were contemplating dropping Dhoni but look at Dhoni's response compared with Ramdin's response.

    You seem to think that training a new keeper is not the answer for WI, but what if Ramdin is suddenly unable to play? he is not immortal you know. Do you not think that 9 years are not enough time for Ramdin to deliver. Dhoni would not now be playing for India today had he delivered stats such as Ramdin's stats.

    Only in WI could stats as his be considered Test standard. If Ramdin were Indian he would have a hard time getting into a Ranji Cup team.

  • Dummy4 on December 1, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    @Allan Alexander I am not saying that Ramdin is as good as any of these greats, but he should aspire to be. I agree he hasn't lived up to his potential, but he is an improving batsman and his stats prove this on first class and regional level. So on this fact he has to be given a decent run in the team to build his confidence. There was a time when India wanted to drop Dhoni because of his glovework and batting, but he was persisted with and look at the benefits India are now receiving.

    And the point about we should be training someone else, I totally agree with. But the key word is TRAINING, not just putting them into the INTERNATIONAL arena where they are not even that confident and REGULARLY making 100's on the regional level. U see that's the problem, no planning no developmental process. That is why we would continue to fail, just put in someone new if someone fails. If he is lucky he would be successful, if not the cycle is just repeated.

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