PREVIEW: "We can beat Aussies"
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, CMC- West Indies captain Darren Sammy exuded confidence on Friday as his team put in their final preparations ahead of their opening match in the ICC World T20 tournament.
“This is the start. All the preparation that we have done, all the plans that we have made, all the hard work that we have put in we will put it on display tomorrow” said Sammy at the end of the session.
“We are confident, we believe in ourselves and we aim to come out with confidence as we look to win and move on”.
The Windies had a full morning session at the R Premadsa Stadium, venue for the much-anticipated Group B match against Australia. First ball is 7:30 pm (10 am Eastern Caribbean Time/9 am Jamaica Time).
“To us every game in the tournament is an important game. We had our last practice session and everybody is ready. The most important thing is that everybody in the team has the belief that we can go all the way” said Sammy.
“All our attention and focus is geared towards this game. It is the only thing that we are talking about. After this game is finished we will then focus on the other game to come”.
Sammy believes his team’s approach to the tournament build-up has been spot on. The squad had a training camp at the Sagicor High Performance Centre in Barbados before they arrived in Sri Lanka ten days ago.
Since then they have intensified their preparations and worked on skills specific to the shortest format of the game. The skipper reported that “everyone is fit, focused and available for selection”. He also noted that the conditions look good for T20 cricket after they had a full fielding session on the vast outfield.
“Whatever conditions we get, our bowlers will have to adapt quickly to them. We’ve been here for the last 10 days and we have adapted well,” Sammy said.
“We’ve watched the games played here (Premadassa) and the pitch looks a good one, so hopefully our bowlers can come out and execute at the crucial times of the game and we'll come out and be victorious.”
A lot of focus has been on West Indies opener Chris Gayle, one of the world’s leading batsmen in all formats of the game and spinner Sunil Narine, the ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year, who has impressed in his short time on the international stage.
“It’s always a plus to have players like Chris, (Kieron) Pollard, Narine, Fidel (Edwards), (Dwayne) Bravo in your team… we have a lot of good players, but in order to win the World Cup it takes a team performance so we all have to pull our weight” the captain said.
“These guys have played a lot of IPL and we have learnt from them, but we are going to put in a team effort when we come on the field and do a good job for the Caribbean people”.
West Indies is ranked at number five in the latest ICC Twenty/20 ranking while Australia is eight on the table. However Sammy says while the Australians cannot be taken for granted his players are being motivated by the outpouring of support from Caribbean people.
“The good thing is that the fans are rallying behind us” he said. “We feel their love and we believe we can do well. The management and staff believe that we will do well”.
Australia: George Bailey (captain), David Warner, Shane Watson, Michael Hussey, Cameron White, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, Daniel Christian, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Brad Hogg, Xavier Doherty, Ben Hilfehaus, David Hussey, Clint McKay
West Indies: Darren Sammy (captain), Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Lendl Simmons, Johnson Charles, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Samuel Badree, Ravi Rampaul, Sunil Narine, Fidel Edwards