Captain predicts progress in Tests
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - As far as progress is concerned in Test cricket, West Indies haven't taken many strides for much of the past decade, though there have been signs of a revival this year.
They have lost to Australia at home and England abroad but they have given more than just a glimpse of a fighting ability.
The improvement translated to a comfortable series win over New Zealand in August, their first at home since beating England in 2009. They are eyeing a second straight Test series win when they come up against bottom-ranked Bangladesh.
Captain Darren Sammy said ahead of West Indies' first training session in Dhaka on Wednesday, that just like the team pushed itself to win the World Twenty20, it will be doing the same on this tour.
"It is more of a belief factor. We have played some good series over the years where we were competing against high-ranked teams, now we believe we can be even more competitive and get results over higher-ranked teams," Sammy said in Mirpur. "We have a team goal which we want to achieve but this is going to be a step-by-step process.
"It's important to come here and win matches and it's a challenge we put on ourselves. Just like we forced ourselves to try and win the T20 World Cup, we achieved that and we are now looking forward to the next series which is against Bangladesh. We believe we can achieve our goals."
Between their last series in Bangladesh, where they won the Test series 1-0 and the ODIs 2-1, West Indies have lost three Test series but there have been plenty of positives, chiefly the strength in the leadership. Sammy however believes nothing much has changed in the last 12 months.
"My role as a captain has not changed. Every player is aware of what their roles are in the team. Last year I have excelled in the role the team expects me to play, and I don't see any difference this year.
"We just got to bring all our players together and go down and perform on the cricket field. That's where the performance counts."
Sammy believes that the success since last October has also made the team stronger, though the return of Chris Gayle has also helped matters. "We have definitely improved as a team. A number of players have come on board and we are a little bit more consistent.
"We beat New Zealand in both Tests and performances came from different players. We come here with one mission: to win all three series in Bangladesh."