Pakistan in West Indies 2011 April 22, 2011

Sammy urges team unity

ESPNcricinfo staff

West Indies captain Darren Sammy has urged his new-look team to play with unity after their successful start in the Twenty20 against Pakistan, which the hosts won by seven runs. West Indies used five debutants in that game, which was the first Twenty20 played between the two countries, and there are several relatively new faces in the squad for the first two ODIs of the series which begins in St. Lucia on Saturday.

"We have to continue to play as a team," said Sammy. "We created some great opportunities and we took them [in the opening Twenty20]. The batsmen gave us a good total to bowl at and the bowlers followed up well. The fielding was outstanding and you could see the total commitment in the outfield. We're happy with the positive start."

Controversy surrounded the start of West Indies' home series against Pakistan after the omission of several senior players from the limited-overs squads.

The spat between the discarded Chris Gayle and the West Indies Cricket Board quickly escalated, the board expressing its disappointment at his decision and Gayle, who smashed an unbeaten century in his first IPL innings for Royal Challengers Bangalore, offering a strongly-worded riposte. Sammy insisted the players selected were good enough to win games despite the absence of big names.

"I know we have players that can do the job," he said. "We saw how Simmons batted on his return to the team. We saw how well Bishoo bowled and won it for us. At the end there, Russell bowled an excellent last over. I looked into his eyes and saw he could do it. I could see he would do the job for us."

The tour opener at Gros Islet also marked Sammy's first match as captain on home soil, and so he was particularly pleased with the positive result. "This is a really good way to start at home," he said. "We planned well and the players went out and executed. Things went well and I'm happy for the team. We have a new-look team and we saw the players showing the energy and passion we asked for. They put in the maximum effort and we got the result.

"The ODIs will be a different kind of challenge. Pakistan are a good one-day team and are confident following their good showing at the World Cup in Asia. We have to continue playing as a team and showing the confidence and self belief we demonstrated out there today. We have to keep winning the situations within the game and benefit from the opportunities we create."

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  • Dummy4 on April 24, 2011, 1:50 GMT

    D Sammy himself is pretty useless. Has a pathetic record in all forms of the game. At the best you could rate him as a mediocre player which is pretty much the state of W.I cricket apart from Roach & Gayle

  • Balaji on April 24, 2011, 0:52 GMT

    I think the West Indies needs to seriously strengthen their domestic cricket. I guess each domestic team plays about 4-5 four day matches a year, hardly enough to nurture talent. In the past the English county system nurtured the West Indies talent and made it bloom. Now that option is closed. So they should play more domestic matches and work out a scheme of 'A' and 'B' team tours. What the West Indies need to do is to get their young talented players play more. Only then can we see to hope a revival. It is a long haul, will the West Indies go the distance? I am no expert, but if something like this is done, we may see a revival a few years down the road, and I as an Indian would love it

  • Riad on April 23, 2011, 20:28 GMT

    D ganga is the only captain WI have and he could make this side when you have mediocre players like d smith and m samuel in it

  • Anit on April 23, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    This team is not a new looking or rebuilding for the future. It is just recycling the past poor performance back except for 2-3 young players. I don't see good future in this team.

  • ausaff on April 23, 2011, 13:12 GMT

    @vinod when did pollard win a match for windies!!!!!!!!!!!As so IPL it is a money league created to destroy cricket ... pollard does not even deserve to be in team ... he is a brilliant fielder but bowling and batting are of club standard.... About sammy ya he doesnt deserve to be in team but i would rate him above pollard and WI need to do wat SA did when they made smith captain.. may be darren bravo or bring ganga and nurture bravo

  • Dummy4 on April 23, 2011, 13:01 GMT

    Vinod, so you want people who have refused to sign contracts to lead the team? Is that what you are saying? And you want teams to schedule their tours around IPL? And if Pakistan get their league going, ditto?

  • Carlee on April 23, 2011, 11:56 GMT

    @vivgilchrist I agree. Pollard cannot bat for WI to save his life. His life is with T20 and he should remain there . Period. Sammy may unbalance the team but until a better captain emerges we should give WI team our support they can do no worse than a team with all the bravos gayles sarwans chanderpauls pollards benns in it who overall have done nothing substantial for WI cricket. Why was B/desh ranked above us recently in the one day rankings?........

  • manish on April 23, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    winning a opening match is alway be enertgitic to a newly appointed captain. Here summy is lucky to get first win with the new talented team without big names.It is alway good to win but in prospects of windies WI board rethink about its policies. It is going on the same trek on which Srilanks is running. mlinga one of the their best player have to declare his retirement from Test cricket due to defying of him by srilankan board.You have a best players of the world Gayle who blistered a centuries in IPL and you have not found him fit for your squad. What is this? Where are your musings inwhich you looking for 2015 world cup. So assemble your assets and make a worthy property to ensure your future.

  • Vinod on April 23, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    For all those who support Sammy as Captain - Good Luck guys... I still don't see the logic of Sammy as the captain. It may not be Bravo or Pollard...but I am sure it may not be Sammy either.. Bravo and Pollard at least have won matches for WI, whereas it is beyond any cricket-ing logic why Sammy is in the team at the first place, forget Captaincy.?

    His team may win matches, but he will be a captain who can't lead from the front... I am still waiting to see when he will win a match for West Indies ?

    His bowling is mediocre, whereas batting he doesn't have a technique.. It pains me that such a useless cricketer is leading West Indies International cricket team. You can give him months or years, Sammy will take WI cricket team down with him...

  • Basil on April 23, 2011, 4:08 GMT

    I am tired of all the criticizism heaped on Sammy. In a perfect world he would not be captain, but the fact remains that he is committed to WI cricket. Gayle, Sarwan, and Shiv don't want the job. Samuels is coming back after a 2yr ban. @Vinod. I wish you and most others would get over Dwayne Bravo. The man has made himself unavailable for the Test series to play IPL ... and you want HIM as captain??? Bravo av 31 with the bat makes him not good enough to bat top 6, and @40 with the ball means he's not good enough to be one of three first choice seamers. Sure, Sammy chucks out the team balance slightly but so does Bravo. Both need a good wk-batsman at 6 so they can slot into no7 position. But atleast Sammy is committed to WI as opposed to Bravo who is committed to the Mean Green $$$. As for Pollard being VC, I won't even dignify the comment with a reply.

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