The contract row back home has cost them a couple of good players in the ongoing ICC World Twenty20 but West Indies captain Darren Sammy on Saturday said he is not the least bit concerned as the ones who are in the side have enough calibre to be simply destructive.
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West Indies annihilated England in their opening World T20 match in Mumbai with swashbuckler Chris Gayle hammering the event’s fastest hundred that came off just 47 balls.
The comprehensive win has renewed the team’s self-belief, which had taken a hit during the payment row with the Cricket Board after which players such as Darren Bravo opted out of the event.
“Yes we are missing important players but once we execute our plans then we can be very destructive. It’s cricket and it’s an event that we enjoy playing. So, whatever issues, they are behind us. Our focus is on winning matches and we want to take it step by step,” he told reporters on the eve of Sunday’s match against Sri Lanka in Bengaluru.
“It the calibre of the players in the squad that I am concerned about,” he added.
Asked whether it is a revenge match since West Indies lost to Sri Lanka in the semifinals of the previous World T20, Sammy said, “I wouldn’t say it is revenge. If this match was the final then we could think on those lines but it is a group game.”
“We respect them a lot and we have had great games between us. Hope it is a good game tomorrow. We want to keep winning. We want to execute our plans. You saw it against England.”
Sammy singled out Gayle for praise after his power- hitting.
“To me the most exciting part of that game was Chris batted through. Our bowlers did what we had to do and then our batters led by Chris chased it down very well,” he said.
“We knew the wicket in Mumbai was a 200 wicket, but last night even 230 was not enough. Now it is a different venue, good wicket and we could have an exciting match and hopefully we come out victorious,” he said.
About the pitch, Sammy said it looks like a good surface and there are plenty of runs in it.
“Before we came here, the coach mentioned that every game should be played like a final. We have played Lanka in the final before (and beaten them) and lost twice in semis so it’s (the game) important in the context of how the group is placed,” he said.
In India, Sammy said the dew factor expectedly plays a big role.
“Here in India, we know dew is a big factor so obviously we weigh that. But you know that we have no control over the toss. We know what to do if we win the toss,” he said.
Sammy said the team has good understanding of the playing conditions in India owing to the players’ IPL experience.
“IPL experience is a plus for us. Chris has played, I think 5 IPL seasons here in Bangalore. I played here last year. We have a lot of knowledge of the conditions here in India, but T20 is about momentum. Every ball is an event. You can get a wicket one ball and go for a six in the next. It’s about winning those key moments,” he said.