Expectations high for T20 series
Barbados Advocate article.
Bridgetown, Barbados - With everyone fit and up for selection, West Indies captain Darren Sammy is looking to start off the T20 Series against England at Kensington Oval on a winning note.
Today’s match has been sold out and Sammy mentioned to the media after the West Indies training session yesterday that they will be hoping to entertain the crowd by playing some good quality cricket and coming out victorious.
With all 15 members of the squad declared fit, Sammy said that the three T20 International matches offer a golden opportunity for the West Indies to finalise the members of the team ahead of their title defence of the World Cup.
However, it will be hard to pick a final 11 for today’s match as the right mix will have to be achieved for the victory and the future.
“It is our final preparation going into the World Cup and it is good to have matches where we can finalise the combination of our team.”
The hard-hitting all-rounder mentioned that although they lost the One-Day International Series to England, it did highlight that the visitors do not do well under pressure and he will be looking to exploit that in the upcoming matches.
“We (West Indies) normally have good matches here (Kensington Oval) and the last match we played which was against Australia was a very exciting encounter.
“England and West Indies always have these good battles and we are looking forward to that tomorrow (today) as both teams are looking to finalise their combination of their squad going into the World Cup, so it provides both teams with that opportunity.”
In the shorter format of the game, the West Indies have proven to be the one to beat with a number of their players playing the game around the world. However, as they look to get off to a winning start, it will be vital to put the right mix in the game today.
Sammy said that they must play as a team, as well as play as the defending champions that they are.
The top order batting has not been getting many runs lately and that is one area which they will be hoping to rectify as the tall left-hander, Chris Gayle, looks to make his return as well as some runs before they head off to Bangladesh.
However, still not up for selection is Kieron Pollard.
“We miss the services of Pollard, who is one of our more experienced T20 players, but now all of the players are much more experienced and the guys have gained more exposure all over the world. We still have the core in the team and we know once we go out and perform to the full potential, we will be the team to beat.
“It is a great feeling to be World Champions, but that is all gone,” said Sammy.
“When we get to Bangladesh, it is a fresh start and everyone has to do what we did in Sri Lanka, which is to play as a team, play for the people and the goal was to win the title, so this time around it is to defend the title.”
He mentioned that the players are confident and they have been working hard to retain that title. (CG)
Darren Sammy (Captain), Samuel Badree, Dwayne Bravo, Johnson Charles, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Krishmar Santokie, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith
MANAGEMENT UNIT: Ottis Gibson (Head Coach), Sir Richard Richardson (Team Manager), Stuart Williams (Assistant Coach), Andre Coley (Assistant Coach), Saqlain Mushtaq (Assistant Coach), C.J. Clark (Physiotherapist), Hector Martinez Charles (Strength & Conditioning Co-ordinator), Richard Berridge (Video & Statistical Analyst), Virgil Browne (Massage Therapist), Philip Spooner (Media Manager)
T20 Series Schedule – Start 2 p.m./1 p.m. Jamaica Time
Sun 9: 1st Twenty20 International – Kensington Oval
Tue 11: 2nd Twenty20 International – Kensington Oval
Thu 13: 3rd Twenty20 International – Kensington Oval