Sammy believes Windies can win
Kingston, Jamaica, CMC – Darren Sammy said dropping Rahul Dravid on six in India’s second innings of the first Test against West Indies haunted him.
The West Indies captain muffed a regulation chance at second slip off Ravi Rampaul, and West Indies paid a heavy price, when the former Indian captain proceeded to score his 32nd Test hundred to set the visitors up for a series-leading victory.
“I didn’t sleep well [on Tuesday] night at all, knowing that I dropped the ball,” he said, following the third day’s play at Sabina Park. “But I must commend the bowlers, the way we stuck at it to bowl out India twice under 300. Dravid scored a hundred, and they only scored 250 in the second innings, and it shows me we have the bowlers.
“We must commend them, they worked hard, so now it is up to the batsmen to go out there, and put up a fight, and hopefully we can come out victorious.”
Sammy was the pick of the West Indies bowlers, taking four for 52 from 27 overs, again justifying his place in the side. He felt that West Indies still had a chance to win the match, but admitted it would not be an easy task.
“I think the game is still wide open. I think whichever side wins the first hour will determine the winner. We will have our game plan, and it will be to get a big partnership going with Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Darren Bravo within the first hour, and take it from there.”
Sammy added that ideally he would not like the batting to reach him, but that Chanderpaul and Bravo could score all the runs, taking West Indies to a famous victory.
“That would make me very happy, but a victory will take a total team effort. Batting in partnerships will be the key, and not losing a cluster of wickets, like we have done throughout this home season, is vital,” he said. “We have to believe that the target is in hand. We need 195 more runs, and have seven wickets in hand. If we can play accordingly, we can come out on top.”
The previous evening, West Indies coach Ottis Gibson begged for critics to ease up on the West Indies captain, highlighting his undervalued performance with the ball. Sammy has faced heavy criticism over his place in the side, with many observers suggesting that he leave it unbalanced, but he was philosophical about it all.
“Once I step over the boundary rope, I block out everything around me,” he said. “I block everything on the outside, and I try to put in a performance as well,” he said. “Those who encourage, those who do not encourage, I just use it as a motivation.”
Sammy too, was admitted that he had let the team down with his batting, if not his bowling, in recent matches. He reasoned that this Test presented him with a wonderful opportunity to silence some of the doubters, but he felt his contribution in this Test was invaluable.
“On any pitch, you have to be patient and bowl in the right areas,” he said. “We were behind in first innings, so we had to restrict their scoring. My job was to bowl maidens and a lot of dot-balls, and that has been my job from the time I started my Test career. Obviously, enough runs have not flowed from my bat recently, but it is not too late.
“This innings could be the time that the captain makes some runs for the team. I am still positive; I’ll keep working hard, and hopefully, the tables will turn in my favour.”