No stress, says Sammy
THE PRESSURE of captaincy isn’t affecting embattled West Indies’ captain Darren Sammy.
Sammy made that clear while dismissing suggestions that the burden of leading a transitional regional side has impacted on his individual performances.
“At the end of the day, if I didn’t think that I was capable enough to do the job, I wouldn’t take it [captaincy],” Sammy told SUNSPORT in an interview before Thursday’s third Digicel One-Day International against Pakistan at Kensington Oval, which the Windies lost by three wickets.
St Lucian Sammy, 27, replaced Chris Gayle who opted not to sign a West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) retainer contract as skipper last year at a time when he had not cemented his place in the side, especially for Test cricket and says he is enjoying his leadership role.
“I enjoy leading the troops and everybody working in one direction towards the cause of West Indies cricket. I normally enjoy my cricket. I play with a smile on my face whether things are up or things are down. I think my personality allows me to be that way and I enjoy every aspect of West Indies cricket,” he said.
But he has not reaped a lot of individual success with either bat or ball since taking up the captaincy.
Despite opening the bowling in the first two ODIs of the ongoing home series, he is yet to take a wicket. Overall, he has managed just 39 wickets in 55 ODIs at an average of 44.30 apiece with an economy rate of 4.54 runs an over while he has only two half centuries.
“I think it is a matter of going out there and putting the ball in the right areas. Every bowler, in order to get wickets, you have to be at least consistent in your line and length,” he conceded.
Asked about the omission of former captains Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan from the team, Sammy said the young batsmen were already showing signs that they were capable.
“The selectors came up with the team to represent us in the series and so far we have managed to score 220 in both games and you can see the batsmen are capable of doing the job,” Sammy said.
“I have full confidence in the guys who are representing West Indies now to go out there and do the job. Obviously experience counts but we are in a rebuilding stage right now. I have confidence in the guys who are here right now to do the job.
“The guys have seen this as an opportunity for themselves to go out there and showcase what they are made of . . . It is more or less an opportunity to expose more players. Every individual has to go out there and grab it and make the best out of the situation,” insisted Sammy.
The allrounder said that it was not his job to call for healing in West Indies cricket, especially in any dispute between the WICB and the player’s body, WIPA, including team selection.
“That’s out of my jurisdiction. I think I have a job to do [which] is to captain the West Indies team and that’s solely on the cricket field. That’s what I intend to go out and do and try to lead the troops to the best of my ability. The two organizations have people in place to sort out whatever matters they have in terms of cricket,” he said.