West Indies tri-series 2013 June 27, 2013

Samuels sees West Indies 'going back on top'

ESPNcricinfo staff

Marlon Samuels feels West Indies cricket is "going back on top" after years of disappointment and that while there is a long way to go yet, the side's game is "where we want to be" at the moment. Following their early exit from the Champions Trophy, Samuels backed West Indies to do well against strong ODI opponents India and Sri Lanka in the tri-series beginning in Jamaica on Friday.

"We are not going to blow our horn about it but at the moment if you look at the West Indies set-up we have some wonderful players with a lot of experience," Samuels said. "So you can't rule us out. The great thing about West Indies cricket right now is that we are competing and winning games, not like back then when we were losing games. And not just in the Caribbean but also outside it, the fans are coming back. So that is motivating us to win more games so that we can win back the fans' hearts plus put West Indies cricket back on top."

Samuels tempered his optimism by acknowledging that West Indies, currently ranked No 8 in ODIs, needed to show progress in numerous aspects of their game. "It is a steep corner to turn but the good thing is that we are on the corner, we have not turned it as yet, so there are a lot of areas we need to improve." he said. "We need to have more match-winners and get balls in the (right) areas consistently. As a unit we are getting stronger and better and the strength in the group will, in the long-run, see us winning games non-stop and beat the best teams in the world.

"For me, when I finish I want to know that West Indies cricket is No 1 again." Samuels said.

West Indies exited from the Champions Trophy in heartbreaking circumstances following a rain-hit tied match against South Africa, leaving Samuels to wonder what could have been. "The way I saw it we should go back into the finals and meet India and then it would be perfect, we would just play a T20 and finish off the tournament, we are the T20 champions. It never happened."

India, the Champions Trophy winners, are the No 1 ranked ODI side and Sri Lanka are positioned three places above the hosts but Samuels was upbeat about West Indies' chances. "India and Sri Lanka are very good teams, big names and some young players coming through in good form and playing well, but I am still backing the unit that I have a lot of belief in." he said.

"We are playing some serious cricket right now and gaining a lot of respect, individually and as a team. Playing in maroon is more special than anything else for us." he said. "Our cricket is where we want it to be at the moment but there is room to improve."

Ottis Gibson, the West Indies coach, said they were a bit unfortunate in the Champions Trophy and wanted his side to put the "little mistakes" behind.

"I think we were starting to shape up to do well in that tournament. It's just to kick on from there," Gibson said. "It's to put those little mistakes that we made in England, put them away. We felt we had a good opportunity to win that tournament and we want to win this one and prove ourselves right."

"It is good to be back home. It is the first time we are playing a tri-nation tournament in quite a while so we are looking for positive results." he said. "There's more balance in the side and we are starting to believe a lot more that we can be the team that we want to be. We are starting to show the application and hopefully we will continue to show that development and progress."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on June 28, 2013, 21:50 GMT

    Sorry Marlon. WI are an improving side but they'll be nowhere near No.1 in Test or ODI cricket until well after you retire. There simply aren't enough "special" players in the side. Many honest tryers, but too few "stars" that have to carry the team. I think Samuels is being optimistic here.

  • charlie on June 27, 2013, 17:06 GMT

    I have to agree with some of the prior comments about the big hitters ! Except a player has the technique and fundamentals to combine with the power hitting ,then WI still have to look for those specialist batsmen to form a solid nucleus for the team to survive against a good attack .

  • Dummy4 on June 27, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    Only Sammy is playing his whole heart for team.Sammy is the right guy to lead the side.The key is Darren Bravo.Because he should play as a anchor role.Other players should play around him.WI have world biggest hitters like Gayle,Pollard,Bravo,Sammy...Charles also not bad.Samuel is a good player with solid techqnique.According to me Samuel and Darren are key players for windies.If they click anyone can't beat them....Also they have heavyweight boxer-Tino Best.I am sure he is going to create lot of problems for players like Raina,Kohli,Rohit....Lets see...............

  • siddhartha on June 27, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    I agree West Indies need more "one day special" batsmen. Modern one day greats like Tendulkar,Ponting,AB,MSD,Hussey etc are real good at rotating the strike which is key for success in ODi's. Ofcourse it's a huge plus point if you have power players like Gayle and Pollard in your line up but in middle order specially at no 3,4, 5 you need batsmen who can rotate the strike regularly even when boundaries are not coming. Sarwan was pretty good at this but looks like he is terribly out of touch.Darren Bravo is pretty good but often he fails to rotate the strike. Samuels looks solid at no 4. but their no 3 and no 5 batsmen must learn the proper dynamics of the one day game.

  • Dummy4 on June 27, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    Windies have done well to be on the verge of competing again. However, they still need to motivate players who are not doing that well at the moment and assure them that they are not discarded as was done with Sarwan previously. I realy hope Sarwan can get back in form soon. He's got a lot of cricket left in him. Think he can complete the windies battign.

  • Dummy4 on June 27, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    They have the talent, no one is doubting that... but their 50-over game has been lacking of late (can't argue with their 6-match test win streak or their T20I WC title).

    In ODIs, they someone (or two) to put their head down and be prepared to bat through the innings (and by "bat", I mean consistently turning over the strike, not just defending).

  • Eddie on June 27, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    I agree there is starting to be a talented young core with some experienced vets there for the Windies. Sarwan, Chanderpaul and Gayle all are class. Samuels has come back really strongly the last couple of years. Darren Bravo gets better and better. Tino Best has awesome pace. Plus a lot of youngsters there who are on the way up

  • Dummy4 on June 27, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    Charles,darrenbravo and dwyane bravo should take up the role of anchoring the innings and ensure that w.i bats for 50 overs.Bighitters should play their natural game.Samuels is the key player as he can be an adopt to the situation.They should be agressive while batting and they should give everything in the field.If this happens then they can win this tri nation series

  • Dummy4 on June 27, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    for me, these 3 are the best limited overs sides in the world, should be a good series, i only hope that the crowds show up, its boring to see empty stadiums.