Windies set for opening contest

West Indies v South Africa
ICC Cricket World Cup Group B
Venue: Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi

Delhi, India – West Indies skipper Darren Sammy said his team would look to revive the pride and passion of the two-time former champions during their World Cup campaign which bowls off against South Africa from Thursday

First ball is 2.30 pm (5 am Eastern Caribbean Time/4 am, Jamaica Time).
 
Sammy said his team received some useful tips from the former players of West Indies and they would look to implement them in their game and deliver with the “passion and fight of the 1980s”.
 
“We received tips from a few former players. Clive Lloyd got in touch with me. Our manager (Richie Richardson) was also a part of the 1996 World Cup. So we would look to implement their advice in our game and deliver with the passion and fight of the 1980s to give something to our fans,” Sammy a full media pool ahead of their World Cup opener against South Africa.
 
Once the most dreaded team, West Indies have fallen somewhat and struggled to deliver as team. The 1975 and 1979 champions have suffered a 5-0 whitewash at home against the South Africans, before losing 0-2 to Sri Lanka. But Sammy said past records won't matter much in the World Cup and execution of plans and performance on that particular day will decide their fate.
 
“We have been in the sub-continent for more than a month and before that we played South Africa at home. We didn't do well recently but it is a prestigious tournament and we have a lot to play for,” Sammy said. “We have to play to our potential. Every game is a big match and cricket is played on a day and it doesn't matter if you are number one or number nine team. We have to go and execute our plans. We have self belief and we have to be consistent.”
 
“Consistency is important in the World Cup to make it to the knock out stage. We have some potential match-winners in our side and we have to put them on the field and play 100 overs with confidence to get the best result,” he added.
 
Sammy said some of his players have the experience of playing at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground during the IPL and Champions league and it would help on Thursday.
 
“Few of our guys played here during the IPL and Champions League and there inputs have been helpful. We have an idea about how the pitch will behave but we will have to wait and watch how it reacts tomorrow,” he said.
 
Sammy said spin will play a crucial role in the matches here and exuded confidence that his team has two quality left-arm spinners.
 
“Spin has played an important part in the tournament so far. We have two quality left-arm spinner and also Chris (Gayle) bowls off-spin, so we have to consider all these options and choose the best team and perform,” he said. "The challenge would be to go out there and perform to the best of our ability. We are confident and we would look to take one game at a time. The objective is to reach the knock out stage and then focus on the game at hand,” he added.
 
Sammy will have an unenviable task of leading an unheralded bunch of players to World Cup glory and the talented all-rounder said it is an honour to captain the side and join the legacy of the former greats.
 
“I didn't bring it (captaincy) on myself but it has been a massive honour to lead the side. West Indies has a greater legacy and to be part of that is an honourable job for me. Cricket is a uniting force for the Caribbean people. We would look to deliver with passion and fight of the 1980s to give something to our fans,” he said.
 
Sammy said he handled the pressure of captaincy well and it didn't affect his game.
 
“I have been playing under pressure even before in my career and so the captaincy has not really changed my game. I have been handling pressure quite well. My idea is to just keep playing. I would be playing in the second half of the batting line up and would look to build long partnerships and also bowl economically. On the field, my job would be to inspire the players and also take important decisions when required,” he said.
 
Sammy would be leading a side with four former captains,Chris Gayle, Shiv Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Dwayne Bravo, - and he said it would help him in decision making during the World Cup.
 
“It is a good thing to have so many senior players around. They bring in a lot of experience and it would help me. The young can look up to them,” he said.
 
TEAMS
West Indies:
Darren Sammy (captain), Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Devon Smith, Sulieman Benn, Nikita Miller, Devon Thomas, Andre Rusell, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kirk Edwards
South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Hashim Amla, Johan Botha, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Colin Ingram, Jacques Kallis, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Morne van Wyk
Umpires: Simon Taufel, Amish Saheba; Third umpire: Asoka de Silva; Fourth official: Richard Kettleborough; ICC Match referee: Jeff Crowe
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