Sri Lanka v West Indies, 1st Test, Galle, 5th day

We had a winning mindset - Sammy

Sa'adi Thawfeeq in Galle

November 19, 2010

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Shane Shillingford sends Tharanga Paranavitana on his way, Sri Lanka v West Indies, 1st Test, Galle, 5th day, November 19, 2010
Shane Shillingford bowled over 60 overs in the first Test against Sri Lanka © AFP
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Darren Sammy, West Indies' new captain, was thrilled with the way his team dominated the first Test against Sri Lanka, which ultimately ended in a draw at Galle. "We couldn't dictate the next step, but I know this result will give our guys confidence ahead of the next Test. We came here with a winning mindset. We did everything that we were supposed to do in this Test match. We had a good chance of winning by putting some pressure on them."

He was especially pleased with the way the bowlers stuck to their task on a wicket that wasn't offering much assistance. "I must commend the bowling unit for sticking out there. They created the opportunities and their effort was good. Unfortunately we didn't get the ten wickets we wanted, but all in all, it was a job well done."

Sammy said that as a batting unit, the team had achieved their targets every day, and "to score 580 for nine and declare was quite amazing". However, he conceded that the middle order needed to perform better. He also rued the fact that he did not have another spinner to support Shane Shillingford. Left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn had to sit out the Galle Test because of a one-match ban earned for an altercation with fast bowler Dale Steyn during the third Test against South Africa in Barbados in June.

"Shane is really a workhorse," Sammy said. "When he gets the ball he doesn't want to put it down. A guy with an attitude like that augers well for the future. We also have Benn available for us in the next Test. All in all we have plenty of positives.

"Benn obviously he has been our best bowler in Test cricket in the last year. We did miss him. But it was good to see without our number one bowler others taking 14 Sri Lankan wickets."

Sammy admitted a win would have been the icing on the cake for him in his first Test as captain. "It's still a learning experience for me at international level. I must commend my team mates for making the job a little easier the way they went out there and performed. I am asking them to be hungry and be consistent and look to improve on whatever we do."

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Posted by stormy16 on (November 22, 2010, 5:19 GMT)

Great show by the Windies and really its the beauty of the game - totally unexpected but take nothing away from the Windies. Great to see the young WI batsman make a mark in foreign conditions. Gayle was awesome and in the end SL did a decent job of saving the game after the Windies made 580. SL still needs to work out their bowling options in both pace and spin. Ben in place of the seamer should be the only change for the Windies. One of the highlights was Bravo working out Sanga in the first innings - its real test cricket stuff and great to see.

Posted by   on (November 21, 2010, 19:26 GMT)

I ain't gonna get drawn into the politics. All I'm gonna say is that I PREDICT A WI VICTORY AGAINST SRI LANKA IN THE 2ND TEST.....................as long as they performe as good as they did in the 1st test.

Posted by   on (November 21, 2010, 16:05 GMT)

If Sammy were to score 100 and take five wickets and the team loses, many of you of the above would still criticize him. Weren't some of you the ones who wanted Chris axed?

Posted by kevinhinds on (November 21, 2010, 15:15 GMT)

I personally am not calling for Sammy's removal - i must agree he did lead well for this game but the more i think about it he is going to have to work hard to maintain his place ... he is a pretty good cricketer but his primary job in this team is as a bowler which for the most part you must give him credit for having an average under 30 with the few matches he has played to date but i have a feeling he is going to find it difficult to captain and bowl well together and he himself will think twice about his ability to take wickets or contain batsmen in conditions which are not favorable to swing and seam like England (8 wkts) or against teams such as Bangladesh (12 wkts in 2 matches) but i must concur that his head should not be called for until he has had a chance to prove himself so i will give him a couple more series and see how that goes ... good job in leading so far, he really did well in his 1st game.. just hope he continues and we also see some improvement in his overall game

Posted by Sportsscientist on (November 20, 2010, 21:31 GMT)

everfaithful77 - either you have not read the comments I have made, or you are so blinded by your love for WI that you do not want to acknowledge what has been stated. Sammy's presence MAKES THE SIDE UNBALANCED !!!! I am not criticising Sammy, but he was picked by the WICB as captain to gain political leverage over the so-called rebels. If you think I am picking on Sammy or putting down WI, I challenge you to pick an XI that can beat Sri Lanka. I will pick mine: 1 Gayle 2 Barath 3 Nash 4 Bravo 5 Chanderpaul 6 Bravo 7 Baugh 8 Shillingford/Benn 9 Russell 10 Roach 11 Pascal. I am using the players that are in Sri Lanka as the overall selection policy is not being debated. No I challenge you to pick a better side than this with Sammy as captain. Incedently if you must know, If Gayle could not be captain, I personally would choose Bravo.....but seeing as Nash is vice-captain then he could do the job.

Posted by everfaithful77 on (November 20, 2010, 20:32 GMT)

I can't believe you guys who are calling for Sammy's REMOVAL after one match in which the bottom of the table WI team he leads totally OUTCLASSED the no. 3 ranked team Sri Lanka and would likely have won the game was it not for so much play lost to rain. YOUR THINKING IS TOTALLY IRRATIONAL AND RIDICULOUS. YOU SOUND LIKE PEOPLE WHO KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT CRICKET. Did the WI team lead itself ? The decision to bat first, the bowling changes, the field placements and constant pressure on some of the best batsmen in the world that lead to their dismissal for under 400. The energy and confidence. Did all this just happen all of a sudden ? The Sri Lankan batsmen were not allowed to breathe resulting in a highest 1st inn score of 73. SAMMY SHOULD BE GIVEN CREDIT FOR THE WAY HE HANDLED HIS JOB AS CAPTAIN. LETS BE HONEST HERE GIVEN WI INEXPERIENCED BOWLING ATTACK. HE DID A GREAT JOB. THOSE CALLING FOR HIS REMOVAL DO NOT WANT WEST INDIES TO SUCCEED. GO SAMMY AND WEST INDIES !!!

Posted by afterhours on (November 20, 2010, 17:52 GMT)

This performance here is due to the WICB and the selectors players now know that if they don't perform that they will be drop just like Sarwan period. People need to give Sammy a break its his first match and he lead well. What would we rather he take all ten wickets make a double hundred and loose or captain well and win I will take the latter. Fact is he is the captain he cannot be drop. And who say that Bravo have to play and who say that bravo is a better player than Sammy is just put both of them stats side by side and see. Bravo 38 matches 84 wkts @ 39.96 with two 5 for and Sammy 9 matches 27 wkts @29.77 and three 5 for. I think dropping Bravo will do good for him just like when mumbai drop him he came back stronger and his brother is gonna keep Sarwan out because he's batting with sense.

Posted by CKfrombrisbane on (November 20, 2010, 10:26 GMT)

Sri Lankans are lions and will bounce back. They are the current champion in world cricket and they will show us miracles soon.

Posted by jimbond on (November 20, 2010, 4:27 GMT)

WI have to use opportunities like these to rebuild. Benn and Shillingford are good attacking options to support Roach. With either Edwards or Taylor fit, it could be a potent attack. Russel is a better option than Sammy- Russel bowls better and also bats better. For the sake of the team, Sammy should drop himself and let Dwayne Bravo or Gayle take over captaincy for this test.

Posted by ramzi1985 on (November 20, 2010, 3:38 GMT)

@harsh_vardhan2002 - One test match and you have assumed everything. What would you say if the reverse happenns in the next test match?

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