KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Captain Darren Sammy has held out hope of West Indies winning the first Test against India today but says building partnerships will be crucial if this is to happen.
West Indies ended yesterday’s third day on 131 for three, in pursuit of a challenging 326 to win the contest at Sabina Park.
“Partnerships will be the key. We have to believe we can. We just have to show the commitment and fight,” said Sammy, whose bowling effort was key to limiting India to their second innings 252.
“The first hour will be important. The team that wins the first hour will be in a good position. At this stage I would say it’s pretty even. We have two set batsmen at the crease and they are playing well.
“I want to commend the bowlers for the way they stuck to the job and bowled out India under 300 twice. Our bowlers have been doing the hard work, now it’s time for the batsmen to go out and win it for the team.”
West Indies started their run chase with a flourish, with Adrian Barath (38) and Lendl Simmons (27) adding an up-tempo 62 off 66 balls for the first wicket.
When West Indies slipped to 80 for three, Darren Bravo (30) and Shiv Chanderpaul (24) put on an unbroken 51-run stand for the fourth wicket to stabilize the innings.
Sammy said Chanderpaul’s presence at the wicket would be also be important if the Windies were to win.
“We all know what Shiv is capable of. He has been excellent throughout his career,” the St Lucian pointed out.
“He has been in this kind of position many, many times before and he has handled it very well, that’s why he has a Test average of just under 50. To get to this victory target we will need big partnerships.
“We saw a few balls keep low and we saw a few balls bounce and a few spun as well. We should have batted much better in the first innings. This is a good cricket wicket and tomorrow we will be looking to get some good scores from the batsmen.”
Sammy, who ended with match figures of seven for 140 after picking up four for 52 in the second innings, said he had focussed on keeping the scoring down during his spell.
“We were behind in the field so my job was to keep things tight and try to build some pressure,” the right-armer explained.
“My job was to bowl lots of dot balls and restrict the scoring.