West Indies v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Basseterre May 19, 2011

West Indies aim for rankings boost

ESPNcricinfo staff

Darren Sammy, the West Indies captain, has his eyes set on improving West Indies' standing in the ICC rankings, something they will achieve if they win or draw the second Test in Basseterre. West Indies lead the two-match series 1-0, after Sammy led by example to seal a 40-run win in Providence, and a series win will help them swap places with Pakistan in the Test rankings. West Indies are currently ranked seventh and Pakistan sixth.

"We as a team, when we met in Barbados before the Sri Lanka tour (in January), we had our plan for the next three years, where we want to be, and so far we're working very hard in achieving that target," Sammy said on the eve of the second Test. "Moving up the rankings is definitely one of our team goals so we all know what's at stake.

"We have that at the back of our minds, which will be motivation for the guys. Winning a series at home against a higher-ranked team would be a massive boost. The belief in the team is improving and everybody believes that they can go out there and win against Pakistan."

Sammy picked up seven wickets in Providence, including a five-for in the second innings, among three stand-out performances from the West Indies players. Ravi Rampaul delivered the early breakthroughs, taking seven wickets as well, while Devendra Bishoo, the legspinner, in his debut Test, grabbed 4 for 68 in the first innings. Sammy said his role was to support the strike bowlers.

"This type of bowling has always been my style. We all have roles in the team and I've clearly understood what my role is in the team, which is to build pressure and be the workhorse of the team," he said. "I've accepted that and that's how I've played throughout my career."

West Indies are unlikely to make too many changes but Devon Smith's form at the top of the order remains a worry - he was dismissed early by offspinner Mohammad Hafeez in each innings in Providence. In the event of Smith being left out, the 18-year old Barbados batsman Kraigg Brathwaite could get the nod for a Test debut. "He has over forty-something hundreds in his short career (at all levels) and it shows me the mental toughness he comes with," Sammy said. "That's what we are asking for, guys to be mentally strong and be able to go out there and bat for long periods and he has those attributes in him."

The Providence Test ended in four days with the pitch providing much assistance to the bowlers in a low-scoring game where only one batsman reached a half-century. The track at St. Kitts, however, was expected to be significantly different. "It looks like a typical St. Kitts wicket. If you apply yourself, it'll be encouraging for strokeplay," Sammy said. And his counterpart, Misbah-ul-Haq, appointed Pakistan's ODI captain for the Ireland series, replacing Shahid Afridi, agreed. "I think it's far better than the previous one for batting," he said. "It looks like it will be really hard work for the bowlers."

He did admit he was surprised at his appointment as ODI captain, but didn't dwell too much on it. "It was a surprise, but at the moment, we're just focusing here on this Test match."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 20, 2011, 13:10 GMT

    lets go Sammy and the boys!

  • Dummy4 on May 20, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    @rashoon Not true, people are up in arms because Sammy could not on his own merit make the team before being appointed Captain and up to the last test match had not proved that he can contribute. His wickets in Guyana will quell some of the storm but he has to lead from the front and play his part. This team cannot afford a non-performing Captain.

    The fact that he's Lucian smacked of nepotism as Hunte and Hilaire began pushing him as Cappo from as long as 2 years ago.

    Personally I hope he does extremely well and improve our win record. I couldnt care less about where the players are from, just that we jell as a team and win consistently. He's a very good tactician, he just needs to back it up with his own performance

  • Dummy4 on May 20, 2011, 10:08 GMT

    please axe carlton baugh and bring back ramdin or ask darrenbravo 2 do the glove work

  • Romanch on May 20, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    can any 1 tell me cureently wats d rating status of all teams in ICC test/ODI ranking..

  • M Vivek on May 20, 2011, 7:31 GMT

    If West Indies bat first and score over 350 they will surely win.West Indies looks to be improving and Pakistan on the contrary.

  • S.Selvamurugan on May 20, 2011, 7:23 GMT

    Please bring Back Marlon Samuels he is best batsmen in the squad now

  • quigley on May 20, 2011, 2:43 GMT

    sammy will never be right; he can help Wi to reach the 3 place on the ICC ranking. people in the caribbean have dicided to dislike summey because he is St.lucian and Julian hund and Hiler is also st. lucia. so sammy you do your best you are doing great do not answer these people just keep on doing your best we are praying for you as you fight for us keep up your good work and talk with your bat and ball have a great march tomorrow

  • Ajay on May 20, 2011, 2:36 GMT

    Come on Windies beat these paper tigers once again......

  • Dummy4 on May 20, 2011, 2:00 GMT

    Getting ahead of themselves... one test win in 2 years against Pakistan is NOT a second coming. Next thing you know they'll be claiming the WC2015 and saying Lendl Simmons is the new Gayle...

    That being said, hoping to see some more good competition between these two :)

  • Carlee on May 20, 2011, 1:53 GMT

    Go Windies!!!! Please please drop Devon Smith

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