(WICB) GROS-ISLET, St. Lucia — Darren Sammy said it was important for his side to quickly switch from the 50 overs to Twenty20 mode, as they prepare for the first Digicel Twenty20 International against Australia on Tuesday at the Beausejour Cricket Ground here.
The West Indies captain said winning was the two matches was a major goal, but the focus is also on building a team unit for the International Cricket Council’s World T20 Championship in September in Sri Lanka.
“We just completed one of the best ODI series seen in the Caribbean for a while,” he said. “The matches were action-packed and gripping. Now we have to refocus and switch gears slightly. It is important we start well.
“These matches will give us a gauge as to where we are. The belief is there. It was clear during the last two weeks. We are getting stronger. We have good batting with guys in the middle and lower order who can clear the boundaries. We also have a good bowling attack, and as a team, we have bought into what is required.”
The West Indies selectors have assembled a balanced team for the opening encounter, which is expected to be played in front of another capacity crowd of over 13,000 fans.
West Indies have called up batting all-rounders Dwayne Smith and Nkrumah Bonner, who can both bat at the top of the order; left-arm medium-fast bowler Krishmar Santokie; strike fast bowler Fidel Edwards; and left-arm spinner Garey Mathurin, who stunned England on his T20I debut last September at the Oval in London.
“It is vital we get the right mix of players, the guys we are looking at to represent the West Indies,” said Sammy, who is in the Top-10 bowling in the ICC Player Rankings.
“The ICC World T20 Championship will be a major international event and we want to feature prominently.”
West Indies have been drawn in the same group as Australia for the ICC World T20 Championship and Sammy said this Digicel T20 Series could provide “the ideal preview” for one of their opponents.
“This will be a good series to get to ‘know them a little better’,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s all about how we execute our plans. It will all come down to that – how best we go about our business and do the job that’s required.”