No team has as yet repeated as World T20 champions. But the West Indies will leave the Caribbean confident that they are well equipped to have a shot at making history. That is according to both captain Darren Sammy and coach Ottis Gibson.
“We know it’s going to be a tough job to retain the World Cup, but I think as you’ve seen from the last three games we’ve played here over the last couple of days, we are in a good place at the moment,” Gibson told the media following his side’s five run defeat to England in the final match of their three-match T20 series at Kensington Oval, Barbados on Thursday.
That loss could not deny Sammy’s side a timely 2-1 series win ahead of the World T20 which starts in Bangladesh tomorrow. And Gibson was not overly concerned by it.
“I don’t see it (the loss to England) as a setback,” Gibson said, adding that while “losing is not a nice thing... we look at the positives that came out of the losing today (Thursday). It shows us that once we take care of the important stages of the game, how dangerous we can be as a side. So we move on from here full of confidence that we can go on and do something really special in Bangladesh. “
The coach noted that while the team lost early wickets, “we still took it down to the last over and could have won it off the last ball still, so the batting is in good shape.”
He added: It’s good to see Simmons getting runs. In the first game it was Marlon Samuels and Chris (Gayle); (Dwayne) Bravo and Sammy in the middle game, so everybody is getting an opportunity to find some form and the group are gelling, so once we get over there and get ourselves settled--we have two practice games, another game against England also--the players are well aware of the opportunity in front of them to do something really special.”
Skipper Sammy was also positive about the readiness of his charges for their title defence.
“I think we are in pretty good shape,” he said.
“The best form of preparation sometimes could be match preparation and the T20 series against England we showed that we are ready. Bangladesh might be different conditions but we have the armoury to adjust. We’ve got two world class spinners, we got two fast bowlers in (Ravi) Rampaul and (Sheldon) Cottrell and (Krishmar) Santokie who just proved he’s world class as well. When you look at the batting, we got Chris and Smith at the top, Marlon and Simmons in the middle and Bravo myself and Russell to finish the innings. Yes we had a big blow when we missed out on (Kieron) Pollard through injury but I think the team is well prepared, well balanced and once we go out to Bangladesh and play to our full potential, we stand a good chance of defending the title.”
West Indies will have a week in Bangladesh to prepare before their first match against India next Sunday.