West Indies v England, 2nd T20, Barbados March 11, 2014

Santokie ready for the big stage


Croft: Superlative hitting by Sammy

Krishmar Santokie is hoping that his Man-of-the-Match performance over England in the second T20 victory will be enough to force him into the West Indies starting XI come the World T20 title defence in Bangladesh.

Santokie claimed 4 for 21 and proved very troublesome from the onset via a disciplined spell that pegged England to 21 for 2 by their fourth over after electing to bat. West Indies edged home in a close five-wicket win to seal the series and Santokie said his confidence had grown and he was ready to be thrust on to the big stage.

"I've only played four games so far but let's hope after this performance, I can be a consistent performer in the team," Santokie said. "I bowl wicket-to-wicket as most batsmen like to free their hands so I keep it close to the batters, not giving them any width. Making my debut [against England] a couple years ago, it was good to come back and play them again and win the Man-of-the-Match. It was fantastic."

With Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo again struggling for economy, Santokie said he felt no extra pressure coming to the fore against England. He said despite his lack of international inexperience, he was not intimidated and said that he wanted to improve the versatility of the team to boost their chances of repeating as World T20 champions.

Santokie said the key to his strong performance was spending a lot of time assessing the pitch conditions and also studying footage of the England batsmen, something he has focused on since being recalled to the team.

"I wouldn't say there's extra pressure [on me] because we have a good all-round team," he said. "All our players have their part to play and so do I, if given the opportunity. I just need to remain confident and be positive at all times. After watching the first game on Sunday, I got a few ideas and watched some videos of the batters so I have an idea of how to bowl to them - the areas they like and the areas they don't. I just made sure I bowled in the right areas today."

He said that Samuel Badree's early pressure on the England batsmen reduced the boundary count which allowed him to persist with slower deliveries to stymie England's charge. Santokie also added that batsmen viewing him as a bowler within the medium-to-slow end of the spectrum often proved to his benefit.

Santokie said it was "very disappointing" to have missed out on T20 opportunities in the past for West Indies despite "performing over and over" but said he was now eager to grasp any available opportunity. He was the leading wicket-taker and Player of the Tournament in last year's inaugural Caribbean Premier League with 16 wickets and was labelled as "the best bowler that isn't playing West Indies cricket" by his coach, Curtly Ambrose, with the Guyana Amazon Warriors.

He said he found no difficulties in making the transition from the regional to international stage via several domestic seasons playing against the likes of Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith. "I've played for the West Indies Under-15 as well as Jamaica's Under-15 and Under-19s and also, for the last five years in the Caribbean T20," Santokie said. "I also played club cricket in England for six years and from all this cricket, I don't see any problem moving to the international stage. It's about how you go out there and perform on the day."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • M on March 12, 2014, 16:13 GMT

    Another WI player / bowler who simply will not thrive in the Test arena...and another who therefore is tailor-made for one-day cricket on the low / slow heaps they call West Indian pitches...

    Kemar Roach, you are a dying breed out there my friend....

  • Donna on March 12, 2014, 13:39 GMT

    I too have wondered why he was being ignored. Since Ramphal seems to have lost his touch and gained some pounds (or maybe it's that he's gained some pounds and so lost his touch) hopefully now Santokie can get his chance. Let's hope that he grabs it with both hands!

  • Dummy4 on March 12, 2014, 10:38 GMT

    Used to play in our league - mostly second division of Home Counties - was a good player - but there are others who are just as good if not better in the league and the one above. Shame as he is good enough to cut it at the top it seems. Cricket is a gamble - I have played people who are quality but because of their luck they are playing as pros for clubs abroad and making peanuts while people with less talent are doing well because they were lucky!!

  • chris on March 12, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    Another talent wasted by the West indies board. He has been ready for the last 5 years and they brought him inn now when he is almost 30 years old.

  • Dark on March 12, 2014, 5:52 GMT

    Well played Windies. Finally there is somethin that these players are good at! With Narine, Badree, Gayle, Samuels, sammy they can restrict any team (except india) to a total less than 150 in BD conditions. (of course you need the fielders not to drop the catches..) and with this batting line up, they can easily chase down a target of 250 even. So lads, I will have my money on this team to win the t20 this year. india has all the fire power they need when dhoni walks in to the side with yuvi but the bowling department might let them down. But with yuvi, misra, raina, jadeja and ashwin in the side they will be the team to beat windies...

  • Dummy4 on March 12, 2014, 4:49 GMT

    watch out for this guy in the World T20 and in the IPL him and Malinga going to give team trouble for MI. Good death bowling it would be ridiculous if MI don't use him and Malinga together. I would be very hard to leave him out of the WI 11 so its going to be a toss up between him and rampaul on turning wicket i would use badree and santokie as against good favorable fast bowling pitch use rampaul and santokie. WI is going to retain the World T20 title has they have one of the strongest team. Hope in this final T20 game against england they give cottrell a game with him and santokie using the new ball and rest badree, give johnson a go for smith and edwards a go for simons just to build a team unity and get a cohesive unit going into the tournament.

  • Kemar on March 12, 2014, 4:39 GMT

    Krishmar Santokie has been ready to be a mainstay in the West Indies T20 squad for at least 5 years running. It takes the insight and clairvoyance only of the WI selectors to just be seeing this, now. One good player would have wasted 5/6 years while players with less potential are tried over and over for the same period of time. Then we wonder why we're the joke of Test Playing nations???

  • Dummy4 on March 12, 2014, 4:22 GMT

    Congratulations to Krishmar Santokie on being a well deserved man of the match. There should be no doubt that this ace Windies bowler belongs in the starting eleven. He is by far their best death-bowler - something that he has demonstrated time and again. Clearly, his selection in the squad should be preferable to Rampaul's in the T/20 team!

  • siddhartha on March 12, 2014, 3:44 GMT

    Santokie is one of the very best in t20 cricket.

  • Dummy4 on March 12, 2014, 2:10 GMT

    T20 is Santokie's forte and he will prove a handful on the slow wickets in Bangladesh

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