Friday, December 15, 2017

Sammy wants whitewash


Getting ready: West Indies players, from left, Ravi Rampaul, Chris Gayle, Denesh Ramdin and Assad Fudadin jog during a training session in Bangladesh yesterday ahead of their two-day practice match against the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI starting tomorrow. See Page 78. —Photo courtesy WICB

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Captain Darren Sammy says an upbeat West Indies are plotting a whitewash of Bangladesh in the upcoming Test and limited overs series.

West Indies face the hosts in two Tests, five one-dayers and a single Twenty20 in a tour that runs from November 9 to December 10.

Sammy believes the series will be one where the regional side can build on recent promising performances when they challenged higher ranked sides.

"International teams are always under pressure to perform. We came on this tour to do one thing – to win like we did last year – and to win in all three formats," Sammy told reporters.

"We have improved as a side over the last few years and a number of players have come on board. We are a little bit more consistent and, in the last Test series we played against New Zealand, we won both Tests and performances came from different players."

Sammy added: "It is more of a belief factor. We have played some good series over the years where we were competing against high-ranked teams, now we believe we can be even more competitive and get results over higher-ranked teams. We have a team goal which we want to achieve, but this is going to be a step-by-step process.

"It's important to come here and win every match and it's a challenge we put on ourselves. Just like we forced ourselves to try and win the World T20, we achieved that and we are now looking forward to the next series which is against Bangladesh. We believe we can achieve our goals."

West Indies endured mixed fortunes on their trip here last year, winning the two-match Test series 1-0 before capturing the three one-dayers, 2-1. The tourists lost the only T20.

Then, talismanic opener Chris Gayle was exiled from the team and wily off-spinner Sunil Narine was not a Test fixture but Sammy said that with the presence of both players, West Indies were now a much stronger side.

"We have got an experienced batting line up. Last year, we came here without Gayle who is now in the team, while Chanderpaul is still one of the best Test batsmen in the World and Marlon Samuels is in good form," Sammy pointed out.

"We have young players like Darren Bravo and Kirk Edwards that had a good series here the last time … and we have Sunil Narine."

He continued: "We are quite confident in the players we have and what we could do, and we just need to execute our plans. I think we have got a good balance and are just looking to come out and perform consistently.

"Bangladesh is a team we have never taken lightly, they are always difficult opposition at home, so we have a lot of respect and will do our best to win."

West Indies will face a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI in a two-day match starting tomorrow before the first Test bowls off in Mirpur next Tuesday.