West Indies v Australia, 3rd Test, Roseau, 5th day April 27, 2012

English seam on Sammy's mind


West Indies captain Darren Sammy has insisted his team can go on to success in England after again surrendering the Frank Worrell Trophy to Australia, a trophy the hosts have not held since 1995. Questioned at some length following the series about how his side's batting had continually folded - the tireless Shivnarine Chanderpaul aside - Sammy said the team's sense of belief had to remain strong and steadfast ahead of a three-Test date with arguably the world's most accomplished seam and swing bowlers.

"Different conditions, some of the guys are playing there for the first time," Sammy said after making his highest Test score on the final day of a 75-run loss to Australia in Dominica. "We've still got to learn and believe that whatever comes our way that we can overcome it. It's going to be another tough series for us but like we fought against Australia we're expecting to do the same against England. Keep showing that attitude and hopefully we can get victories in England.

"At the end of the day, its up to each individual to go out and do what is necessary for the team and to try to perform and score runs. No one wants to go out and fail - it's about getting your mind right and going out and executing properly. We talk, we develop a plan, a formula to go out and play with, most times we don't execute properly.

"The top six is where we should get the bulk of the runs. Shiv batted really well for us again but we didn't have consistent contributions from everyone there. We have youngsters at the top and like Shiv has said, they're learning their skill at the international level. I back the guys to go out and play up against a higher-ranked team with lots of experience. Our guys are young and the selectors have decided to give them a run, an opportunity to develop and hopefully they can do that for us in the future."

One member of the top six at Windsor Park who will not be going on to England is Kraigg Brathwaite, the teenaged opening batsman omitted after scores of 0, 0, 0 and 11 in his final four innings of the series. Sammy said Brathwaite had not been forgotten, and would figure in the team again in the future. However he admitted the selectors had become concerned by his propensity to be out early to the new ball. Sammy also said the leg spinner Devendra Bishoo's absence from the touring party did not mean the end of his time in Test cricket.

"The selectors and coach spoke to him yesterday," Sammy said. "Obviously he didn't have the best series this time. He's definitely one for the future for us. He's out of form and in England where the ball tends to swing a bit more - this series he was getting out to the swinging ball a lot. We have a few A-team tours coming and the coach has told him he'll be there to get some form.

"We also have the high performance centre where he can go and work with the coach over there. Just like we said to Bishoo. Bishoo had an excellent year for us last year and he was not part of the Test squad but I expect them to come back. They're both strong mentally and they'll go and do what's necessary to force their way back into the team."

In contrast to the batting, West Indies have developed a bowling attack that stands some chance of snipping the top off England's batting on potentially helpful early season pitches, starting with the first Test at Lord's from May 17. Sammy reserved particular praise for Kemar Roach, who with 19 wickets vied with Chanderpaul for man of the series honours.

"Last year he had a tough year in Bangladesh, he broke down in tears but this year he has come back really, really strong," Sammy said. "People might say well he bowled more overs than me, but he keeps asking me for the ball and that is the sort of attitude I really like to see. When I thought he was tired, he said 'No, I really want the ball' putting his hand up. His wickets show the hard work throughout this series."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2012, 13:16 GMT

    @landl47 how many other opening batsmen do you know of with a TEST average of over 40, two triple test centuries and who is 'a good shorter-format player'?

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2012, 17:41 GMT

    I understand the fear that if we kept playing the senior batsmen we would have kept losing & then when they decide to retire we wouldnt have any ready replacements. However it is obvious that the younger batsmen they have brought in as replacements are not International quality as yet. I strongly doubt even New Zealand, Bangladesh or Zimbabwe have played a series recently where their top 3 batsmen have a combined average of under 15. Chanderpaul, Sarwan & Gayle have been the best senior batsmen for the West Indies. Whenever West Indies have done well it is these batsmen who have made the runs so now that we have our best Bowling attack in ages is the time that we should be mixing the talent of Bravo , Edwards with the Experience of Gayle, Shiv & Sarwan to give us our best chance of winning matches. Bharat, Powell, Brathwaite Simmons ,etc should be playing for the Windies A team @ best so they can be ready to step up when Shiv & co decide to retire

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2012, 17:09 GMT

    @ noplay I agree. commitment & heart & all of that stuff can achieve only so much & no more. It is extremely difficult for me to accept that if we had a more capable tactician, slip fielder & all round player in the team we would have still lost all the series we have since Sammy's stint as captain. In the end @ least under Gayle's captaincy we beat teams like South Africa on tour, We won the Wisden Trophy for the first time in a decade, We even beat Sri Lanka in a Test Match & we won a few Odi Series as well. The two series vs Australia before this 1 under Gayle Captaincy we still lost 2-nil like we did now even with a weaker bowling attack than we have now granted The Australian team was stronger back then so What is the Significant improvement Darren has brought to the team in terms of winning us Series which in the end is all it boils down to? there is none. West Indies need a strong cricketer on the field not a mediocre cricketer/ a cheerleader

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    @Yorkslanka,the reason why Sarwan and Nash is not in the team is they were discarded and not offered retainer contracts,they were offered full season contracts before the Australian series began,therefore,they CANNOT be forced to play for the West Indies and forgo their contracts.

  • rahul on April 29, 2012, 3:32 GMT


  • Mohamed on April 29, 2012, 3:30 GMT

    Bishoo had 1 dad game and he's out. Others fail and fail again and again and they still get a chance to play until they finally get a wicket or 2 and make a few runs (like Sammy) and the coach and selectors say; 'we told you he could play." Sammy's 60 is good for another 15 innings, when he'll score another quick 40 or 50 and that will be good enough for another 15 innings or thereabouts. The writing is on the wall for Bishoo and has been for sometime. When Leeward played TnT Sammy said that Narine was the best spinner in the WI. Now Shillingford has played well, it's hard not to pick him. As for Gayle and Sarwan, time has already run out on them. It is obvious that nothing they can or will do, will ever find favour with Gibson and the selectors. And that is so sad. These two gentlemen would have possibly given WI the edge vs the Aussies and also now against Eng.

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2012, 3:17 GMT

    Lets be optimistic.Roach is in good form.Fidel Edwards always gives his 100%.Sammy,lets not forget,has a 7-for in England.He can be useful too.The onus is on the batsmen really.Gayle is not interested playing ? You are joking.He wants to play for WI.He still has the passion.Check his last first-class match scorecard.Bloody politics hampering WI.I am sorry,Barath needs runs.Cant see him succeeding in England.

  • sandesh on April 29, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    Though we love west indies. IT is reality the bowlers performed good but the openers to 1 2 and 3 position are the major problem for the west indies. Please adjust the position and its very much furstrating to see bad wicket keepers. The wicket keeper must be a good bats man now. Please look for new wicket keepers if both ramdin and baugh not scoring.

    its good to see new faces ilke Shillingford and denorine. Please play as the type of game. Best of luck with ENGLAND.

  • Andrew on April 28, 2012, 22:28 GMT

    I'd select Gayle if he was available, as he would improve the major flaw the WIndies had against Oz. Also Gayle is a very useful defensive spinner. I would never select Gayle again as captain as his lay back style seems to "infect" the other players of his team. As for the other non-selected players, DJ Bravo & Sarwan have the best credentials, I'd take Sarwan for Samuels, but I am reasonable happy with Deonarine, so I wouldn't take Bravo. I agree with a comment by a facebook user who's name hasn't revealed - Sammy is a captain & player who will eventually be replaced. However in the meantime, Sammys job extends beyond wickets & runs & field positions - it's showing commitment to training, to wearing the Maroon cap, instilling discipline & hunger in his team. Once those principles are ingrained, he will be come redundant, as their are better options out there, but someone (Edwards?) has to show they are willing & able to take on his responsibilities!

  • Nilantha on April 28, 2012, 22:04 GMT

    i juzt dont understand how WI can do without Nash and Sarwan?? Can any West Indian let me know why they havent been selcted?Is it a political thing or is there something more to it than that?

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