KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Darren Sammy started to sound like a stuck record following West Indies’ 63-run defeat in the first Test against India yesterday at Sabina Park.
The West Indies captain again urged the batsmen to take their cue from the bowlers, and take far more responsibility for putting the team in a winning position in matches.
“I think, as professionals, the players go out there, and try to do the best for the team,” he said. “Sometimes, it does not come off, and for us – as a batting unit – most of the times, it has not come off. I still believe the players are trying hard. “But it’s about being more mentally focussed when you are out there in the middle, and do whatever it takes to put your team in a good position. We need more guys to take charge.”
Sammy also highlighted the need for his side to win crucial moments in the game.
“This has been the case throughout the home series for us,” he said. “The games have been coming down fairly close, so it needs to be about us winning the key moments.
“When we had them 85 for six in the first innings, we should have restricted them for a much lower total. We then had a chance to bat, and go into the lead, but we trailed by 73 runs.
“I do not think there are too many differences between the teams, but it’s about us finding that way to capitalise on the key moments in the match.”
Sammy said the problems with the West Indies batting have existed for more than a decade, and joked that they have to recall some of the legends to the side.
“Maybe, the best thing for us is to bring back [Garry] Sobers, Viv [Richards], [Clyde] Walcott, all of our batting greats,” he quipped.
“Whoever is picked to represent West Indies, I think the onus is on the player to put the team in a good position, whether batting or bowling.
He said: “All of the players have been doing extra work in the nets. It’s normally good, and the batting coach is happy with the way the guys are hitting the ball, and the drills they are doing.
“In the end, you do not score runs in the nets. You have to go out in the middle, and do what’s necessary for the team. The coaches can only talk. It is up to us, the players, to go out there and do what is best for the team.”
Sammy said that there two matches remaining in the series, and West Indies still had a chance to get a win, and make a lasting impression.
“We still have to be positive because it’s a three-Test series,” he said. “We are going to Barbados for the next Test, and we need to pick ourselves up.
“Sure, we know that – as a batting unit – we are behind the eight-ball. But the way the bowlers have bowled, if we can put good totals on the board, or chase down totals, we stand a very good chance of coming back and levelling the series. He said: “Just as my teammates believe in me, I believe in them. We try to keep a positive feeling around the dressing room.
“Next game, it’s a different game, and we will try to do the good stuff in the nets. It’s just about executing. I believe in what we have, and as long as people take on the responsibility of putting the team first, we will be in a better position.”