West Indies v India, 2nd ODI, Trinidad June 7, 2011

Sammy upbeat despite numerous problems


Darren Sammy, the West Indies captain, has admitted that his team lacked aggression and said the batsmen were working hard to affect a turnaround in the second one-day international against India at Port of Spain.

"Yes. I would say that," Sammy said, when asked a direct question about a lack of aggression. "To be aggressive you still need the confidence. Maybe we can show a bit more intent against the spinners. When our spinners pinned down India, they showed intent towards us.

"Our guys are practising. It's about transferring all these things in the middle. When you look at all the dot balls - we have lots of boundary hitters - when you are not getting boundaries and not rotating the strike, the batsmen get under pressure."

India's tour is only two games old, if you include the Twenty20, but rotating the strike has become a recurring problem for the hosts. There were 169 scoreless deliveries in the West Indian innings during the first ODI on Monday. It was a problem in the T20, and it was also a problem during Pakistan's visit to the Caribbean. Doesn't Sammy lose his cool and get frustrated with his batsmen?

"It's not frustrating," he said. "We are all backing each other. Everyone is trying his best. It's about guys believing in themselves. Once you are not in nick, and not getting pitches where you can play freely, it's going to be difficult. The guys have to believe in themselves."

The other constant theme of the series has been the absence of Chris Gayle, because of his dispute with the WICB. After the defeat in the first ODI, Ramnaresh Sarwan admitted West Indies were missing Gayle's explosiveness at the top. For a team that has struggled to force the pace, Gayle is the obvious solution to that problem. Sammy has been asked repeatedly about the issue and today was no different. "Gayle is going to have a meeting with cricket board, which is way beyond my control," he said. "Hopefully things can get resolved and things can get back to normal."

Another on-field concern for West Indies is Darren Bravo's form. His career has just started but the expectations are huge. The West Indian journalists grilled Sammy about Darren Bravo's lack of runs. "Darren, maybe, is going through a bit of patch now," Sammy said. "We have all seen what he can do. In Sri Lanka he was our best batsman of spin. I am confident that Darren will come good. Maybe we could adjust the batting line up, put Sarwan up at No 3 or something. These are all scenarios we can put forward. Hopefully whoever gets that position can go out there and do good."

Marlon Samuels has also been a bit of a puzzle. Ever since his comeback after the end of his two-year ban, he has struggled for fluency. It appears he is not yet match fit, though he offered glimpses of returning to form in the first ODI. "Samuels was out of cricket for a long time. Everyone takes time in getting back," Sammy said. "I would like less dot balls of course, but he is improving. We are going through a difficult time. We are backing each other. Hopefully things will turn around."

Hope can sometimes be a misleading word for it masks reality, but West Indies can do nothing but hope. Sammy keeps asserting the players are working hard with Desmond Haynes to improve. Hopefully - that word again - for him things will change. Soon.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Narine on June 8, 2011, 16:26 GMT

    What is the POINT is really playing BAUGH?, please please selectors how much chances, how many more games do we have to see this young man FAIL again. His approach, shot selection and batting effort leaves us supporters really clueless. Baugh walks into a batting powerplay with about 10 overs to play and looks as comical as you can look while batting. WHAT IS THE POINT? HOW LONG AGAIN must we try this player. PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING AND RECALL RAMDIN! Ramdin deserves atleast one more chance as there is no real effort from Baugh to retain his place in the current WI team.

  • Dummy4 on June 8, 2011, 16:16 GMT

    Dont know why to waste time to watch match of WI , they should play against Italy Namibia type team now. 175/2 to 197/7 haha who are they . Polard is good for T20 only , Who is this Bough. Any keeper of Bangladesh is better than this junk .

    WICB please please please stop this non sense and ban this sports in WI.

  • avert on June 8, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    A MESSAGE TO THE SELECTING COMMITEE: please drop Bough and bring back Pollard, and put Samuels at # 3. he is in reasonable good form and is the type of player that needs time at the crease. Maybe bring in Ruzzell for Rampaul, because the surface doesnnot favors fast bowling. my squad for the second ODI: Simmons, Edwards, Samuels, Darren Bravo, Sarwan, Dwayne Bravo, Pollard, Sammy, Ruzzell, Martin, and Bishoo.

  • Narine on June 8, 2011, 12:20 GMT


  • Derek on June 8, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    @Rennie Rajwant you are not completely right. Sammy has 3 roles in the side He is no Clive Lloyd but is also chosen to LEAD the team on the field: Otis may do that in the dressing rooms but someone has to be prepared to execute his EVERY wish on the pitch. I personally have issues whenever I play with my current club skipper who boasts how he's done this and that. My performances are ALWAYS better whenerver he is absent. I prefer a captain who knows his limits and respects the ability of ALL the players around him and focuses on achieving PERSONAL results which allows the TEAM to be inspired and motivated to win. I consider Sammy a tryer who lacks some tactical ability. It is the responsibility of the management to ensure that such deficiencies are remedied. The same telecasts which we view is available to them, in fact they are also entitled to FREE admittance to the stadiums Unless they sell their passes on the open market, one never knows!!

  • Hotu on June 8, 2011, 11:57 GMT

    Backing each other, could be their solution. Sammy appearsto be a confused man.

  • Anver on June 8, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    169 dot balls in a ODI is way too much in a game of cricket nowadays........at least another 60-70 runs from those 169 balls, WI would have got close to 280 runs which was good enough to defend on that wicket........hope to see a close contest in 2nd ODI !!!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on June 8, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    make sir vivian richards selector nd clive lyod d coach of WI TEAM

  • Karan on June 8, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    @Hansome: To be honest, I do think that the West Indies should aim for stability at this point, and let players grow at the international level rather than dumping them if they aren't playing well at the moment. However, in Devon's case, he hadn't really seemed in a position to develop his game, and playing him further would have probably worsened his self-confidence if he continued to get out in the same way, while the aim is to make him want to play for the team, rather than dread it or see it as a personal contest. Hopefully he will be back, though, he was a good opener. In any case, the West Indies have been a poor side counted as only a step above the minnows for quite a while, and at this point what they need to do is stick with the current team and let them grow together for a bit. It would be better that they lose working as a growing unit than that they win but become reliant on a couple of older players in the meantime.

  • christy on June 8, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    why don't they prepare green seamers for roach, rampaul etc?

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