West Indies v India, 3rd Test, Dominica, 5th day July 10, 2011

Sammy praises West Indies' fighting spirit


"As you saw, the crowd, who are very understanding, treated the drawn result as a win for us because we got out there and fought," Darren Sammy said, at the end of a day when West Indies came out with their heads held high. They walked around the ground, with the crowds cheering them on wildly.

The West Indies' fighting spirit first came to the fore on the third day of the Test. They were a bowler short but the rest of their attack fought on impressively. Even then you wondered whether the batsmen would rise to the challenge in the second innings. After all, the bowling unit had done well through the series; it was the batsmen who had let the team down. However, led by Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Kirk Edwards and propped up by a wonderful rearguard action from the indefatigable Fidel Edwards, the batsmen gave a stirring performance.

"That's exactly what the coach and the public have been asking for," Sammy said. "Even if we are not winning games, as long as we go and show the fight that we showed in this Test … the batsmen saw how hard the bowlers worked to get the wickets, so that was motivation enough for them to go out and give them some rest and more time in the dressing room. The way we batted in the second innings: Shiv, Kirk and even Fidel [who] faced more than a 100 balls. It was really pleasing to see the fight shown by both the batting and the bowling departments."

Sammy said he was happy with the result, though he was a touch surprised that the Indians shut shop early. "With 15 overs to go and 86 runs required, and considering the calibre of players they have like Dhoni and guys who can hit the ball, I thought they would it give it a go, being one-up. But I guess [with] my ploy to have [Devendra] Bishoo bowl in the rough, they didn't fancy their chances of going after him. I am quite happy with the result. Starting the first innings, with one of our main bowlers Ravi [Rampaul] down, the way the guys stuck at it, we showed a lot of character. And the batting came good in the very last innings of the series … it helped us salvage a draw. So well done to the team."

Apart from the bowlers, Sammy said the spirit show the team showed was a big positive. "We've got some really young players in there. If we had bowled better after we had India 80-something for six [in the first Test in Jamaica] or if we had scored more runs in Jamaica or Barbados, it could have been a different result. But you can't fault the bowling effort or the way we batted here."

Kirk came through in the middle order, Chanderpaul returned with a bang, Marlon Samuels played a fine knock in the second Test and Darren Bravo played couple of innings of substance. But the openers haven't seized the opportunities. "I would have loved to have seen the young guys like [Lendl] Simmons, [Adrian] Barath, [Kieran] Powell do well. They have shown signs they are capable of scoring runs, like Barath playing well in his comeback innings in the first Test. But it's about being consistent. They are still young: Powell has made his debut, Barath and Simmons have played around eight Test matches. So there's a little bit of inexperience. They will have to back their talent and continue to work hard with Desmond [Haynes] … [and] there will be some improvement."

Sammy himself has been at the centre of the storm for a while. There have been questions raised over his spot in the Test team and he said he expected it when he took up the job. "My back is broad. I will still come out smiling. You can't please everyone. The best man who walked the face of the earth never did anything wrong, but he was still crucified. And I am nowhere close to that.

"So I think I am in line for a lot of criticism. It comes with the job. What the public wants is performance. If you judge me on what I do on the field of play, I go about doing my job - the field placements and bowling changes. I think I have done okay. I can't captain when there are two people out there batting. It's for them to put on a partnership."

His batting has led to more criticism and Sammy said he was working hard on it. "I have got a few options. There's Desmond, the Sagicor Performance Centre, and I have a coach at home. Dessie has suggested a few things that I can improve and I am working on them: my back-lift and playing across the ball. I can go back home, look at ODIs and Tests where I have done well, and take the positives from them."

Sammy came through as a bowler, bowling tireless spells and his captaincy is up for review. His tenure ended with this series and the board will decide whether to continue with him or not. Asked whether he would like to remain captain Sammy said: "West Indies cricket is not about Darren Sammy. There are people to appoint captains. If they give me a job, I will go out there and give it my all. I have something to offer to this team as captain. The guys are relaxed in the dressing-room and when we are out there as a bowling unit, I think the guys are really responding to me. And if the people in charge me to continue, I will do it."

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 13, 2011, 15:25 GMT

    I sincerly hope that coach Otis Gibson and company will now leave Shiv Chanderpaul to bat as he knows how . Just as Shiv did in Dominica. Nuff Said

  • Rakesh on July 12, 2011, 19:36 GMT

    The problem with Sammy is that he is a bits and peices player, I saw him in the recent series againts india and Pakistan. He is ideal player for ODI's and 20-20, But westindies are missing a chance to groom young fast bowler like roach or russel. This is hurt WI cricket in a long run.

  • Zeeshan on July 12, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    They lost the T20, the ODI's and the Test Series. What fighting spirit is he talking about?

  • kumar on July 12, 2011, 16:18 GMT

    @ste13, who do you think is really arrogant? --Its always good to appreciate his own team which Sammy always does but I have never seen him appreciating Indians' performance. I thought he is a calm player. But he has said that he was surprised after India gave up those 15 overs. If he is really calm and diplomatic why did he comment on those 15 overs. Doesn't he know the fact that pitch was worst for batting? I am not commenting on WI but Sammy was kind of arrogant, so WI coach in this series. In generally WI players are not like this. --Where as Dhoni and Raina always appreciated WI's performance. They never talk negatively about any team.

  • kumar on July 12, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    Hhhmmm...just because India didn't play last 15 overs WI is feeling happy and pride but fact is they lost the series at their home pitch despite having good bowling attack. But fact that everyone (including Indian fans) forgetting is Dhoni is the same captain who declared the 2nd test match and gave target to WI. India almost won that match. Why don't people understand the situation? This is not ODI or T20 to hit 6s and 4s. This is typical WI pitch and don't forget that Indians are top in batting and bowling departments. Some of the WI fans are just over confident taking the advantage of the situation. Even Sammy gave statement saying "I am surprised India gave up last 15 overs". Doesn't he know about his own pitch that its worst for big hitting? If India was worried of #1 spot then it wud have played with all top players. This is series is meant for youngsters which is almost successful.

  • Robin on July 12, 2011, 13:05 GMT

    If i was a selector Darren Sammy wouldn't be in my starting eleven in test matches, but as it stands, you can't criticise what the man has done so far, he may be coming up short with the bat, but he's doing his bit with the ball, by averaging under 30. What he may lack in gifted ability or experience, he makes up for it with determination, enthusiasm and work-ethic, to continue learning from his mistakes and improve himself as a player. The team is still a work in progress, but at least they look like they're trying to play for each other, as a competitive unit. You get the impression that Gibson and the selectors have no time with certain prima-donnas, who want to play on their reputation alone, but not willing to put the hard work in for the team or who they're representing, but only care about their own status. That might explain why so many that were at the World Cup, have now been ignored since.

  • P Subramani on July 12, 2011, 12:38 GMT

    I was delighted with the West Indies' performance at Rosseau in the 3rd Test. It semed like everything was once again falling in place. In the past there would be 2/3 centurions in the West Indies' scorecard and their scores were mammoth.Those were the days of the three Ws, the three Ss ( Sobers, Smith and Solomon ) or the Kanhais, the Lloyds and the Kallicharans. Now there ar not too many of those legends but the blood is the same and there will be other greats soon. Maybe the series against India will prove to be the starting point of a great comeback. Ofa team everyone loves. Incidentally, most of the records in Tests have been against India. Greenidge scored his debut 100 against India,Viv Richards his first hundred against India and if you look into the statistics, some great achievement of the other has been against India. I would like to take this wager with anyone who dares. West Indies will rise again to be the Champions they always were, yet again and very soon.

  • Dummy4 on July 12, 2011, 10:57 GMT

    I too want to offer my praises to Darren Sammy. He is obviously not the most talented person on the field at any time, but he gives West Indies cricket 100+% and that i s all we can ask. Those calling for his axing are not looking at the statistics, they just don't like the guy. To think that some if those same people liked Carl Hooper, it is amazing.

  • maximus on July 12, 2011, 8:33 GMT

    Though I am an Indian I feel the West Indies deserved to win the last test. India were no where near their best. Good fight by the west Indies. At last the WI supporters had something to cheer for. I luv you guys.

  • Stefan on July 12, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    Big progress for West Indies, nice play by Edwards and the bowlers. Sammy is not a bad captain, not a bad bowler, and he played less than 20 tests - he should be given time and he will improve further. These positives will still not cover the fact that without rain, it would be 3-0 to India. Keeping that in the perspective, it was still the best WI performance in recent years. India has been superior, but they should hope that arrogance will not take over.

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