Windies ‘will be strong force’
MIRPUR – West Indian captain Darren Sammy warned rivals yesterday that his team could prove to be a destructive force in its title defence at the World Twenty20.
“Once we play to our full potential, we’ll be a destructive force,” Sammy said on the eve of today’s game against India.
“The [Chris[ Gayles, the [Sunil] Narines, the [(Dwayne] Bravos, they’ve all got a lot of experience playing T20 cricket in different countries.”
India started with a seven-wicket victory over Pakistan on Friday in the tough Group 2, which also has Australia and Bangladesh vying for the two semi-final spots.
But Sammy said the West Indies had enough depth to take on the best of teams and its players turning out in the Indian Premier League had given them a fair idea of the strengths of the Indian team.
“The good thing in our team is we don’t really have to rely on any one person. We have at least 4-5-6 potential match-winners. We have a general idea of the Indians, guys have been in the same dressing room as them.
“. . . we hope we come out victorious because it is good to start the tournament on a winning note,” he said.
But Sammy felt it was not always easy to work out others’ weaknesses despite watching them closely.
“Cricket is a game of shifting fortunes. You might know the opponent, the last time he was weak in something, but maybe he went and worked on his game.
So, to me, it’s about going out there and playing the conditions right. In this age, there is footage everywhere.
“You can get to watch the last match of any cricketer and come up with a formula to attack that person,” he added.
Sammy said leading the defending champions would be a challenge and that everyone would have to deliver.
“We’ve gathered more experience (since the 2012 victory in Sri Lanka). In the last tournament, our key players performed, but even though they performed, we played as a team. This time around it is even more important that we continue to do that. It’s not going to be easy, we have to focus on each team. Tomorrow it’s all about India, what we can do to overcome them,” the allrounder said.
Meanwhile, Indian batsman Suresh Raina felt India could trouble the West Indies with spin bowling.
“Spinners will play a key role in the game against the West Indies, especially after the way they bowled yesterday against Pakistan,” Raina said about Friday’s win, in which legspinner Amit Mishra finished with 2-22 to lead India’s spin domination.
“West Indies is a different team because they have many players who can hit sixes. They probably won’t be mindful of rotating the strike. The more pressure we can create against the bigger players, the better,” said Raina, who scored a crucial 35 not out and struck the winning stroke for India.