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March 27, 2012
Darren Sammy, the West Indies captain, has said it is important for the team to quickly change gears as they look to win the two-match Twenty20 series against Australia. West Indies had a chance to beat Australia in a bilateral ODI series for the first time in 17 years but ended up drawing 2-2. Sammy, though, said the effort to go up 2-1 in that series had given the side confidence.
"These matches will give us a gauge as to where we are. The belief is there," Sammy said. "It was clear during the last two weeks. We are getting stronger. We have good batting with guys in the middle and lower order who can clear the boundaries. We also have a good bowling attack, and as a team we have bought into what is required."
The two-match series is also a chance to focus on building the team for the forthcoming ICC World T20 Championship in September in Sri Lanka. West Indies have been drawn in the same group as Australia for that tournament and the current series could prove to be a preview.
The selectors have called up batting allrounders Dwayne Smith and Nkrumah Bonner, left-arm medium-fast bowler Krishmar Santokie, fast bowler Fidel Edwards and spinner Garey Mathurin to the Twenty20 squad.
"It is vital we get the right mix of players, the guys we are looking at to represent West Indies," Sammy said.
Smith, who last represented West Indies in a Twenty20 international against England at The Oval in September 2011, is "excited" to make a comeback at the top of the order.
"I am always up to the task of playing for West Indies," he said. "I like it at the top. Most of the people who get hundreds in T20 bat at the top, where you get a chance to bat 120 balls. It's good for me to get out there early and put the scores on the board."
The first Twenty20 international is scheduled to be played today in St Lucia.
Edited by Devashish Fuloria
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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