PREVIEW: Windies seek whitewash
ROSEAU, Dominica – Darren Sammy will take inspiration from the great Sir Garfield Sobers when he leads the West Indies into battle in the second Test against Zimbabwe at Windsor Park.
Sammy recently met with the legend during a function to celebrate the team’s recent successes and said he was delighted to have the opportunity to sit and listen to words of advice from the game’s greatest allrounder.
“We take inspiration from different things. Last weekend we had a function and I had a chat with Sir Garry – one of my all-time cricket icons – and it was a good chat. He gave me some inspiring words to share with the team and urged us to move on from strength to strength. That coming from someone like Sir Garry is motivation in itself,” Sammy said on Tuesday.
“This is an important match and we have our game plans. This is international cricket we’re playing and we will go out and look to win against all opposition, no matter where we’re playing. We play for the people and we look to win for the people.”
Sammy’s team will be chasing a sixth consecutive win when the second Test bowls off on Wednesday. Their five-match winning run dates to August last year when they beat New Zealand in Antigua and Jamaica; and last November when they beat Bangladesh in Dhaka and Khulna.
“The plan is to win this match and go 2-0. We stand a very good chance of winning six matches in a row and building on the winning streak we have started in Test cricket. We have had a lot of great support over the years, but we have not won here in Dominica and I know the people here will want us to deliver a victory,” the Windies captain said.
“We will have more or less the same type of game plan we had for the last five Test matches – where we play five specialist batsmen and the four specialist bowlers – and we are looking to continue in that way. Last Test match we played the three fast bowlers with Shillingford bowling really well to win the match for us, but I think it was a very good job by everyone when it was required.”
West Indies won the opening match at Kensington Oval by nine wickets in a little over seven sessions. The star of the match was off-spinner Shane Shillingford, who marked his return to the international stage with a match haul of 9-109. That display of high-quality off-spin bowling saw him jump up 19 places to Number 41 in the ICC Test bowling rankings. He will expect massive home support when he returns to Windsor Park where he took 10 wickets against Australia last year.
“Last time we played here against Australia it was a very good and close game and Shillingford bowled really well to get 10 wickets in the match. This looks like a similar pitch and we believe he will do very well again in front of his family and his home supporters. He always plays with a smile on his face, but he is a fierce competitor and he keeps improving with every opportunity he gets,” Sammy added.
The second Test bowls off at Windsor Park on Wednesday at 10 am (9 am Jamaica Time).