TOUGH TOUR AHEAD
Samuels hoping to come good in Indian ‘hunting ground’
West Indies middle order batsman Marlon Samuels has welcomed the team building exercise taking place in Florida ahead of tours to India and New Zealand.
Members of the team are complementing their physical preparations by participating in a number of psychological drills, community outreach activities, social get-togethers, and general bonding exercises.
Samuels says the camp, which started out in Orlando on Sunday and moved to Miami on Wednesday, is one that he believes will make the team a stronger unit.
“It’s different. It’s out of our comfort zone so to speak. In any team you need team-building; not everyone is going to get along, not everyone will be friends after their careers are over, but team-building exercises are always important for any team to move forward and improve,” Samuels said.
“You see the guys in a different environment and stuff like that and you see so many different sides and learn so much about everyone. It’s been a good experience for all of us I think.”
The West Indies’ tour of India gets underway on October 31 with a three-day match against Uttar Pradesh in Cuttack.
The 32-year-old Jamaican, who has had a strong return to the sport since 2010, is seeking to confirm his consistency, but also help the team to improve on its world ranking.
West Indies, currently ranked fifth in Test cricket, are coming off six consecutive Test wins.
“It’s very important for the team to try and pull off a win in India. It’s never easy to win in India,” said Samuels who scored his first century in India to help the Windies draw their third Test.
“Over the years I set a lot of goals and achieved them; some didn’t go as planned, but as you know, I scored my first century in India and during a couple of other tours I went there and scored a lot of runs, so you can call it my hunting ground.”
West Indies are scheduled to play two Tests and three ODIs on their tour of India.
The first Test will begin on November 6, while the second Test is scheduled for November 14.
The three ODIs will be played on November 21, 24 and 27.