West Indies v England, 1st T20, Barbados

Samuels backs Badree as World T20 'trump card'

Renaldo Matadeen in Barbados

March 10, 2014

Comments: 5 | Text size: A | A
Croft: A very efficient West Indies performance

Marlon Samuels was optimistic that the West Indies have found the right formula heading into their World T20 title defence in Bangladesh. Following a Man-of-the-Match performance in the opening T20 win against England in Barbados, where he struck an unbeaten 69 off 46 and picked up 2 for 21, he believed that their spin attack will be the key to retaining their trophy.

England laboured against West Indies' spinners - their combined tally was 6 for 45 off 10 overs - Samuels labelled Samuel Badree in particular as their "trump card" to bolster the team's chances of becoming the first team to defend a World T20 title, a feat Samuels tagged as "a personal target".

"Sunil Narine and Badree will be crucial players for us in Bangladesh's conditions which suit West Indies cricket," he said. "Badree's a wonderful bowler and he showed it again today by picking up early wickets.


Marlon Samuels followed up his runs with key wickets, West Indies v England, 1st T20, Barbados, March 9, 2014
Marlon Samuels is easing his way back into action after injury problems © Getty Images
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"We were surprised that the pitch favoured spin because Bajan pitches are usually known more for their pace but regardless of the pitch and its bounce, we have some pretty good spinners who use the new ball well. I think England will have to go back to the drawing board and reconsider using more spinners.

"We knew the record of this ground and we wanted to post a total of around 160 or 165. It was good for us to get more than we bargained for. We had a plan and put in an all-round performance and it all came together for us at the end so we have to keep working hard at it and come up with the goods more often than not."

However, Samuels acknowledged West Indies could improve on their performance, particularly towards the closing overs where they were restricted by England. Samuels added that they would not be underestimating Stuart Broad's team, who came from 1-0 down to claim the one-day series in Antigua.

Samuels said this series was particularly important for him as he works his way back to full fitness follow the chronic wrist injury which forced him home from the New Zealand tour and the groin problem which restricted him to one ODI last week. He is crucial to West Indies' middle order which will be lacking the power of Kieron Pollard for the World T20 but Samuels is not feeling any added pressure.

"It's tough coming off back-to-back injuries last year. I put in some serious work to regain fitness and I'm still getting there. There's no pressure regarding Pollard. We're usually a bunch of confident guys but not too overconfident. We'll take it ball-by-ball, game-by-game and whatever the team wants or requires of me, I'll go out there and try to do it to the best of my ability."

While Samuels kept his cool with the bat, in the field there was a heated exchanged with Ravi Bopara but he played down the argument as "in the heat of the moment" and said there was no lingering issue even though Broad suggested otherwise. "Ravi said something out there that he shouldn't have and I didn't like it. But he came and apologised after. He's a wonderful person and a great cricketer and I have a good relationship with him," Samuels said.

West Indies management also confirmed that Narine will be undergoing a CT scan on Monday on his knee after an attempted slide to save a boundary resulted in his foot getting stuck in the ground and hurt his knee. He left the field after two overs and with West Indies winning comfortable was not risked again.

West Indies remained optimistic and deemed the scan as "a precautionary measure" as advised by the team's physiotherapist. They also allayed concerns over Badree who left the field for treatment on his hand after dropping a stiff return catch off Eoin Morgan as "nothing too serious."

Renaldo Matadeen is a sportswriter and social media manager for ESPN Caribbean. He tweets here

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Posted by   on (March 10, 2014, 16:26 GMT)

I love this game .can't wait till Wednesday .

Posted by siddhartha87 on (March 10, 2014, 6:40 GMT)

well i think West Indies should pick one more genuine fast bowler ahead of Russel.They already have enough power hitters

Posted by Rahul_78 on (March 10, 2014, 6:08 GMT)

Samules makes a lot of sense here. Spin will be the trump card for all the teams. Among all the teams Pakistan, Lanka, West Indies and India have best spin attacks. Out of 20 these teams will look to bowl 13 to 14 overs of spin. Australia and New Zealand have very good T20 teams but their true test will come against these spin bowlers on low slow Bangladesh pitches. Dont count out Afghanistan either as they can cause few major upsets as they have couple of potent spinners. If you combine the good spin bowling with power hitters in the batting line up then West Indies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have best chance in the world cup. India will struggle to make it to semis cause their team is on a loosing streak and Dhoni is averse to playing Mishra in the playing XI. Also West Indies and Pakistan feature in India's group along with Australia. Certainly a more difficult group to qualify from to the semis.

Posted by Rally_Windies on (March 10, 2014, 5:14 GMT)

well, here Stuart Broad goes again trying to stir up trouble ..... instead of pacifying the situation he chooses to exasperate it .....

Broad is a big CHILD ... whoever taught it was a good idea to make him captain should be shot ....

And it is Broad's childishness and immaturity OFF the field , which led to KP's axing from the England team ....

It is pretty obvious that Broad had personal problems with KP when he had to come out and state that : "he was not responsible for KP's axing" ...

the ECB, is making the WICB look like misters ! !

Posted by   on (March 10, 2014, 1:37 GMT)

Good game guys hope you can keep it up because this format suits you well

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