Narine - We're pumped up for Sabina
Kingston, Jamaica – Sunil Narine summed up the mood in the West Indies camp when he said “we’re pumped up” as he set his sights on the upcoming second Digicel Test match against New Zealand at Sabina Park.
The quiet off-spinner starred in the first Digicel Test with eight wickets as the West Indies scored an emphatic nine-wicket win on the fifth and final day.
He took his first five-wicket haul on a placid surface at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground and followed up with three wickets in the second innings.
This outstanding performance was good enough to earn him the Digicel Man-of-the-Match award in just his second Test match. It led to a big jump of 72 places in the International Cricket Council’s Test Match Bowling Rankings.
Earlier in the tour he proved to be a handful in the two-match Digicel T20 Series which was played at the Central Broward Regional Park in Florida, and the five-match Digicel One-Day Series which was played at Sabina Park, Jamaica and Warner Park in St Kitts.
He won the Digicel Player-of-the Series award in the ODIs and made a jump of 23 places to Number 13 in the ICC One-Day International Bowling Rankings.
“It was a total team effort in Antigua. I didn’t just go out there and pick up those eight wickets on my own. I got a lot of help from the others in the team, a lot of support from everyone on and off the field,” Narine said as he reflected on his first Test heroics.
“The guys rallied around me and everyone urged me on. Getting eight wickets on that pitch, I believe, it was a big achievement for me. It was not easy to get wickets. Once the batsmen decided to stick it out it became very hard to bowl to them, but my job was to just keep going and keep looking for the wickets. It was good to get in the wickets column.”
Now, the 24-year-old has turned his attention to the second Digicel Test which starts at Sabina Park on Thursday. He promised to be accurate and attacking as the West Indies seek a second victory to clinch the series and end the international home season on a high note.
The West Indies' last Test Series win was against Bangladesh in Bangladesh late last year. Their last Test Series win at home was by a 1-0 margin back in 2009 when they beat England to win the prestigious Wisden Trophy.
“We're pumped up. We are really ready for the Test match here at Sabina. As a matter of fact, we were ready from the start of the series. We did a great job in Antigua and we celebrated our achievements. We have now put that behind us and all eyes are set on the second Test,” Narine said.
“We want to win the Test series ... we won the T20s, we won the ODIs. We want to win everything. It has been a while since the West Indies won a Test Series at home so this will be a chance to do it in front our fans. I’m entering this match focussing on what I have to do to help the team to win. That’s the job at hand for everyone in the team - to repeat what we did in Antigua and get another one in the win column.”
The West Indies will have a training session at Sabina Park on Wednesday at 9 a.m. as part of their final preparations.
WEST INDIES SQUAD:
Darren Sammy (captain)
Denesh Ramdin (vice captain)