West Indies v India, 2nd ODI, Trinidad June 9, 2011

Sammy takes heart from 'positive intent'


There are two ways to look at this West Indies performance. The first is with hope: after all this was the first display of intent after two comatose performances. At 175 for 2, a total of 270 looked a possibility. The second is to look at it with a touch of weariness over yet another collapse. Hope or a sinking deja vu? Take your pick.

The start oozed promise.Lendl Simmons is a batsman who has the nous, and the guts, to seize the little moments. Sometimes he gets ahead of himself; the adrenalin kicks in as it did in the previous game. However, he displayed a more controlled aggression today. It was in the second over of Amit Mishra that he set the tone. Until then he had confidently taken on the seamers but it was always going to be a battle between West Indies' batsmen and India's spinners. Mishra beat him couple of times in his first over and tossed it up on a length at the start of the second. The West Indies camp has been talking about sweeping and using their feet to the spinners for a while now but has rarely walked the talk. Simmons swept Mishra to the boundary and the crowd cheered. A few overs later, he went down on his knee to lift Harbhajan Singh over wide midwicket boundary for a six. The crowd danced. He then crashed Yusuf Pathan over long-on. Rum flowed in the stands. The sun was out.

In the dressing room Darren Sammy, as he later revealed, moved towards Marlon Samuels and reminded him of the 108 Samuels had scored against India in India. Samuels told him that it was at the top of his mind. The mood was upbeat in the camp. In the middle, Harbhajan was leaking runs and so was Yusuf. Only Amit Mishra was bowling decently. When Samuels entered, he added to India's woes. He rotated the strike, something he was guilty of not doing well in the recent games. His captain has always supported him, saying that he was just rusty. In the 35th over Samuels leaned forward to cream Mishra to cover boundary. In the next, he pulled and lofted Yusuf for a four and a six.

It looked a day of hope but the wheels soon came off. Both Simmons and Samuels fell, stumped. It's easy to put it down to adrenalin but that would be too convenient. Perhaps, Simmons thought he was set and it was time for some action but he was done in by a ball that was pushed well down the leg side. Should Samuels have shown more discretion in the same over that he had hit two boundaries? Perhaps, he thought the moment was hot to lay into Yusuf, who is not one of the frontline bowlers. He tried but was done in by a good ball from Yusuf. It was a lot slower, wider and went almost straight.

It was the beginning of the end. And made you look at the day again: with that familiar sense of weariness at West Indian collapses. Here they go again. "We got ourselves into good position while we were batting; at least we showed intent as we said in team meeting," Sammy said later.

So should one be happy or sad? "You can't be happy when you lost. It's more like the guys showed improvement. Unless the first game where there was lack of intent, it was very different. Right from the top. They showed positive intent. When you show such intent runs come easily. Samuels looks very good after two years. Sarwan also is showing consistency. I have always told Sars [Ramnaresh Sarwan] that he was once compared to Michael Bevan; he is the finisher for us. I still have that belief in him. The more confident he gets, the better it will be for us." The bowling, which has stood strong in the last few months, fell through today. "We had the belief especially after the way we bowled on Monday, trying to defend 214," Sammy said. "It was crucial to get early wickets but we couldn't manage to apply the pressure, consistently and long enough. Kohli gave a chance to me at slip but I missed. That could have been a crucial turning point." For a change, Devendra Bishoo didn't sparkle. Sammy delayed the introduction of spin and perhaps that was a mistake. He, though, didn't agree when a journalist brought it up. "That's just [your] impression. Bishoo is still young and new to international cricket. [The] Indians played spin better than us. Bishoo has played every game [but] obviously he is still young at this level. It's okay that he had a slight off day. I won't judge him because [of that]. There is nothing to worry about. Martin is just playing his fourth ODI."

Sammy was also asked about the possibility of resting Bishoo and not "over-exposing" him. His answer seemed to suggest that he agreed with the questioner. "Bishoo is quite young. Because he has done well, there is tendency to play him every game. Maybe his body is not really used to this type of work load. That's something the selectors will have to think about. Hopefully they will take that in consideration."

He ended on a hopeful note about the state of the pitch for the third ODI. "Antigua has more pace bounce and there was not much spin when we played last there. Hopefully they will prepare something that will suit us and it will feel like home series for us."

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Reghu on June 11, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    i think WI will have to play qualifiers if they ought to play WC 2015

  • Hildreth on June 11, 2011, 5:39 GMT

    The WEST INDIES TEAM SELECTORS(including Coach GIBSON & SAMMY) keep making strange, irrational decisions and have to share the BLAME for the FAILURES of the West Indies team just as the players themselves. The decision to leave out SANTOKI from the final 11 in the T20. Santoki was among the best bowlers in the last Caribbean T20 and should have played ahead of Russel who was woeful against Pakistan and failed again vs India . Strangely he was also selected but left out from final team vs Pakistan. If you look at the Indian TEAM COMPOSITION for the ODIs: 6 batsmen incl a wick-keeper batsman, 1 spec allrounder and 4 genuine bowlers most of whom can bat which gives their batting tremendous depth and still allows strong bowling attack. COMPARE that to WI team in last ODI: 4 batsmen,1 keeper, 3 allrnders (whose batting av is modest at best) and 3 genuine bowlers. How on EARTH does the WI selectors expect to BEAT INDIA when the teams don't even match up on paper? In reality it's worse.

  • lokesh on June 10, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    the ideal windies xi--- gayle,simmons,darren bravo(wk),sarwan,samuels,pollard,dwayne bravo,sammy,bishoo,taylor,rampaul,roach.

    subs- edwards,barath,benn,chanders.

    without this line up windies will have no chance to even defeat ireland

  • Reghu on June 10, 2011, 1:17 GMT

    gayle not in the squad for 3rd odi also....wi is mad..... lets not play virat,raina,rohit sharma,yusuf pathan and send some club players .......to replace these ppl....then also our team will win comprehensively

  • Gaurav on June 10, 2011, 0:18 GMT

    Indian team is without Dhoni ,Sachin Yuvi, Zak ,Sehwag and Gambhir, still Sammy is happy that they are giving some sort of competition to Indian team shows the condition of WI team.He should realize that this was their best chance to win a series against India with this B team.Reality is that Indians struggled in first match while chasing, but in second they just crushed WI totally and showed no signs of wobbling at any stage,not good signs for WI for coming matches too.India will win the series easily.

  • Anit on June 9, 2011, 23:50 GMT

    While a lot is written about Sammy, WI and Kohli, Parthiv's performance has gone unnoticed. He is the next best choice to Dhoni for a WC allrounder, much better than Karthik, Rayudu and offcourse Saha.

  • Len on June 9, 2011, 22:18 GMT

    WIndies will never move on unless there is serious analysis of their play. In the 2nd one dayer, Samuels, Simmons, Sarwan , Bravo and Baugh threw their wickets away with utterly irresponsible strokes during the powerplay. What did Sammy or Gibson have to say about it? ANSWER, NOTHING. Neithe, more interestingly,did I hear any real analysis from the commentators Cozier, Dujon, or Bishop about how badly we batted or bowled. These commentators are going to have to tell things the way they are and stop fudging around the issues. It is clear that some of the players have no respect for Sammy, Gibson or Haynes, the Board or the team and should be nowhere near the team but until we hear these commentators COME OUT AND STATE THAT THIS IS SO, WINDIES CRICKET WILL NEVER MOVE ON

  • Dummy4 on June 9, 2011, 18:58 GMT


  • Reghu on June 9, 2011, 18:19 GMT

    i seriosly think if there is a qualifier round for the next world cup, WI team should go through that......by the current standards, they are worser than Bangladesh....

  • Reghu on June 9, 2011, 18:18 GMT

    If possible, the club players all over India can be sent to WI for a series before they are selected for state teams for Ranji Trophy....lols.... i do not know when the wi board sets aside its ego and calls gayle

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