New Zealand v West Indies, 2nd Test, Wellington

Sammy challenges NZ to play better

Andrew McGlashan in Wellington

December 10, 2013

Comments: 7 | Text size: A | A

Brendon McCullum reacts after a dropped catch, New Zealand v West Indies, 1st Test, Dunedin, 5th day, December 7, 2013
Darren Sammy has put the pressure back on New Zealand to repeat their Dunedin display © AFP
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Darren Sammy believes New Zealand played as well as they could do in the first Test in Dunedin, and has been buoyed by the fact they still ended winless even if that was in large part due to the final-day weather.

There was a noticeable confidence in Sammy's words the day before the second Test in Wellington and edginess from Brendon McCullum who has yet to experience a Test victory as captain despite his team dominating three out of the four home matches this year.

Unless a miraculous spell of bowling had emerged after tea on the final day in Dunedin, New Zealand would have emerged with their first victory of the year but the resilience of West Indies should not be discounted, which is what has given Sammy his cause for optimism.

"I think they were playing their best cricket and yet still they didn't get the victory they deserved," he said. "We are keen to put pressure on them. I don't know what their minds will be like. But if I was in that situation having dominated for so long and not get the result that was due to us, it would have been disappointing.

"But as professionals you have to pick yourself up again. Their bowlers will probably enjoy these conditions. I guess they'll come back even harder. The difference is that we have seen what they have. They put a lot of pressure on us and we were good enough to respond."

McCullum, unsurprisingly, had a different view on the outcome of the first Test and believes New Zealand remain very close to earning rewards that their cricket warrants.

"There was disappointment we weren't able to wrap it up, but we looked objectively and said we played some really good cricket," he said. "Whilst that's not always what's going to be discussed in the media, you've got to be strong as a group to know you're performing pretty well and we're not far away from getting Test wins."

Still, Sammy was able to draw on the fact that West Indies were able to save the Test - albeit with late weather intervention - without major second-innings contributions from Marlon Samuels and Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

"It has done a lot for the team," Sammy said. "It was good to see Kirk [Edwards] coming back into the team and Deonarine [made fifty]. The mainstay was young Bravo. It was good to see we batted for long periods. It will not only give the team confidence but the individual players that they can get the job done when put under some serious pressure. That's what New Zealand did for us throughout the Test, we were always under pressure, but we handled it quite well."

Sammy also smiled at the prospect of being greeted by a green pitch, glanced his mind back to when West Indian sides were feared for their pace bowling, and suggested that this was now a way of negating West Indies' spin-bowling strength.

"We know New Zealand is green but to see the pitch like that - I could not foresee a West Indies team from back then being prepared a pitch like that. It shows how things have changed," he said. "The threat of Narine and Shillingford bowling on a fourth and fifth day pitch against them is in the back of their minds. They are at home, their squad is pace orientated and they have home advantage."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (December 10, 2013, 22:06 GMT)

Danny's captaincy is on the line and he knows it.he needs to start contributing as a bowler at the moment he is just a good pr man and cheerleader.his bowling average is a disgrace and if he batted more responsibly he could get his average up to about 29 which for him would be good

Posted by kbza86 on (December 10, 2013, 22:02 GMT)

that Shannon Gabriel bloke is really a hopeless bowler.... don't the Windies have ANYTHING else besides him???? I would rather go in with one seamer than with him... Does Tino Best not know what length to bowl every game..

Posted by   on (December 10, 2013, 19:57 GMT)

Danny's captaincy is on the line and he knows it.he needs to start contributing as a bowler at the moment he is just a good pr man and cheerleader.his bowling average is a disgrace and if he batted more responsibly he could get his average up to about 29 which for him would be good

Posted by   on (December 10, 2013, 19:30 GMT)

Sammy, need to sit this one, the man is not 100% and that will weaken the side even more. I guess he is scared of the result of the team without him.

Posted by rayinto on (December 10, 2013, 13:44 GMT)

Sammy, It was good to see you bat for lonf periods. A 1 in 20innings is not good enough - you have to do it more often.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2013, 12:04 GMT)

sammy is unfit to play and should sit, he is afraid to sit because everyone will see when he is out the team is more balance , if he plays WI cannot win because the bowlimg will be weak.

Posted by legendscricket on (December 10, 2013, 11:06 GMT)

The West Indies must hold their heads up after the match savings double century by their tempermental batting star Darren Bravo; Bravo showed patience in demonstrating his class & skill at the wicket. Some luck? YES-but that is what the game entails.Excellent support from Edwards,Deonarine & Cpt.Sammy.Chanderpaul is a class act, look @ his 76 in the first innings-FOOTWORK-Measuring the spinners;Enough.

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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