Windies seeking redemption
Captain Darren Sammy is determined to ensure West Indies take something away from their series against New Zealand, by winning the Twenty20 double-header starting at Windsor Park today.
West Indies went under 2-1 in the Test series after losing the decisive third Test by 53 runs last Monday and Sammy said it was now up to the T20 squad to restore a sense of pride, and give Caribbean fans a reason to celebrate.
"For us, it is to go out there and play with that confidence which we have been playing with in that format, and look to salvage some pride by winning the two Twenty20s here in Dominica," said Sammy.
The Windies will have to do without Chris Gayle, but welcomes back Kieron Pollard who will be joined by Dwayne Smith and Lendl Simmons-- both of whom scored heavily in the Indian Premier League-- and spinners Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree.
Sammy said any of his squad could be match winners on any given day. "With Gayle out, Simmons will most likely open the innings with probably (Andre) Fletcher at number three because we have three of them who can bat anywhere from one to five, so we will come up with the right balance and the right combination," Sammy explained.
"I see in the team we have 11 potential match winners so that’s good for us. Looking at the 11, we have two of the top five bowlers (Badree and Narine) in T20s in the dressing room, we have one of the most sought after T20 cricketers in the world in Kieron Pollard and he’s coming back after missing the World Cup and it will be good to have him in the team.
"Chris Gayle in any T20 team is a big asset but [his absence] will give other players the opportunity to come out and play and even looking at the team without Chris it still looks very balanced and power-packed team," he pointed out. "Once we go out there with the calibre and experience we have in T20s, in the dressing room, I have a good feeling we will come out victorious."
WEST INDIES: Darren Sammy (captain), Samuel Badree, Christopher Barnwell, Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Krishmar Santokie, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith.
NEW ZEALAND: Brendon McCullum (captain), Tom Latham, Peter Fulton, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Jimmy Neesham, B.J. Watling, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Mark Craig, Trent Boult, Corey Anderson, Hamish Rutherford, Luke Ronchi, Neil Wagner.