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Sriram Veera at Port of Spain
June 4, 2011
Darren Sammy, the West Indies captain, was unhappy with the nature of the slow, turning Port of Spain track prepared for the one-off Twenty20 against India, and said such pitches would play into the visitors' hands.
"We had the same experience against Pakistan," Sammy said after his side's 16-run defeat. "Even then the pitches supported them. It's a home series but it feels like … the pitches are out of our control. We can only ask what we want but it's up to the groundsman to prepare it."
During the 2010 World T20 West Indies defeated India in Barbados on a bouncy track. They used the short ball well to pin India back then, and Sammy said that they had asked for similar strips for this series as well. "We have requested for bouncy pitches, but as I said we don't prepare the pitches."
Today, though, it wasn't the pitch that defeated them. They had India wobbling at 56 for 4 from 8.4 overs but loosened their grip. It's a trait that West Indies have been guilty of in the recent past as they have rarely controlled games through to the conclusion, and it came back to haunt them again today.
"We stuck at it to start with but I would say we let them get 20 runs too many and in the end that made the difference in the match," Sammy said. "We did some good things today but as we reflect on the match we would all agree that we let a few situations get away from us.
"We have to work harder at winning those crucial situations, which can turn a match, especially in the shortest version of the game. It was a good decision to field first after winning the toss, but we didn't restrict them to the total we wanted."
Their slow batting hurt them further and it's bound to get tougher if they continue playing on these sluggish tracks. Their innings included fifty dot balls and it was a trend Sammy said they will have to change if they are to be more competitive. He admitted that the problem stemmed from their struggles against spin, and said they were trying to improve.
"Desmond Haynes has been working hard with the batsmen," Sammy said. "They are slowly getting better at it and we hope they will translate that hard work in the nets out in the middle. It's about confidence and having belief in yourself against spin. You have to use your feet against the spinners. They are working hard."
Sammy praised the batting efforts efforts of Christopher Barnwell and Danza Hyatt, whose unbeaten sixth-wicket 50-run partnership, gave the hosts a glimmer of hope towards the end of their chase.
"It was great to see how Barnwell played and tried his best to keep us in the hunt. He got some great help from Hyatt there at the end. It was nice to see the guys showing the confidence and self-belief required."
He was optimistic about the ODI series that starts on Monday. "Our bowling attack is looking good and the 50-over format gives more time to the batsmen. We won our last two ODIs and we shall carry that momentum forward.
Sammy said the return of Kieron Pollard, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Dwayne Bravo to the one-day squad will aid in West Indies' revival. "It's nice to have those three experienced players back in our side. We have a bit of momentum with our one-day side after that series against Pakistan, so hopefully we can exploit that."
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