The only two times Darren Sammy played Tests against Bangladesh were during the 2-0 defeat in 2009. But earlier this year, he was at the helm when the Tigers were shot out for 58 runs.
Despite the World Cup West Indies would be willing to reverse those Test defeats but are not yet calling this series their shot at revenge. “It’s never about revenge. It’s about making full use of the opportunity. We have a young side and we’re looking to play good, competitive cricket. Hopefully we’ll be victorious at the end,” said the ever-smiling Sammy who took three wickets on that fateful March day.
“The last time we played, we got the better of them. We’ll try to repeat such a performance, but you can’t bowl out teams under hundred every game. They [Bangladesh] are a good side at home, they won quite comfortably against New Zealand last year,” he added.
Sammy leads a young side which has an average age of 24 for the solitary Twenty20 and ODI series but the first man from his island (St Lucia) to play Test cricket wanted the spectre of 58 all out to weigh heavy on the home side.
“We never took them for granted and we won’t do it here. We want to focus on us and on what we could do. They say that you’re as good as you’re last performance. Hopefully it’ll play very much on their mind.
“The last time we played in Test matches, we were defeated at home. It is a great opportunity for us to do the same here. Bangladesh plays very well at home so I expect it to be a very competitive series,” he said during the team’s official press conference at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
Apart from the spectre of 58 all out, the continuous presence of Chris Gayle related questions dogged the West Indies high-ups and it was no different yesterday. Sammy and coach Ottis Gibson had to fend off several questions related to the ignored ex-captain but when asked about the importance of senior cricketers, the former fast bowler said, “We are building a team and of course we need senior players that are committed, to mix with the youngsters. Some of them have taken the opportunity and done very well for us. As we are looking at the future, we will build a team around the younger guys.”
“Do we need our senior players? I think we need everybody who are committed to us,” he added.
Sammy too raised a gripe and it was about the omission of the Decision Review System (DRS) which he thinks is necessary for his side.
“For us DRS has been a very good inclusion in the game. It’s unfortunate that we don’t have it in this series.
“Whatever could be made possible to eliminate errors in the game, we’d welcome it,” he said, adding that playing under the new ODI rules wouldn’t be a problem given that it would mean taking on a 25-over old ball from each end.
-With The Daily Star input