Combating spin is key to victory over India, says Sammy

KOLKATA, India, CMC- West Indies captain Darren Sammy says the key to victory against India in their two test series here is to combat the spin bowlers.

The two sides were scheduled to meet in the first Test, starting today at the historic Eden Gardens in this eastern Indian city.

“Looking at the way teams like Australia and England have played in previous series here, spin played a major factor,” said Sammy.

“We have not played the spin bowling well in our last few Tests, but once we can counteract their spin bowlers and put runs on the board – a good first innings total is always important in a Test – over 400 – and then we have to bowl well to restrict them and get a lead of over 100”.

West Indies have not won a Test series against a side rated higher on the International Cricket Council’s Test Ranking system for four years.

The last time they won a Test against a higher ranked side was when they beat Pakistan two years ago in Guyana.

“It will require a total team effort and all three disciplines of the game must click for us. We know over the years we have played really well and put ourselves in good positions, only to lose the Test match due to one bad session of play,” said Sammy.

“We cannot afford that in this series. We have to be on our Ps and Qs, and go hard at the Indians because we know they will come hard at us.”

Sammy said it was good to be playing Test matches again, following a heavy diet of One-day and Twenty20 matches over the last seven months.

West Indies’ previous Test against Zimbabwe finished on March 22 this year at Windsor Park in Roseau – and they won by an innings and 65 runs.

“These Tests and the remainder against New Zealand are very important, especially for players like Shiv, Shane, Kirk and others that only play Tests,” he said.

“It is also another opportunity for us to further work on the goals we have. We broke into the top five earlier this year and this is another chance for us to move a little higher in the rankings.”

Sammy said the farewell for  cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has energised the bowling unit with everyone seeking to have the privilege of being the bowler to snare him for the last time in Tests – but he hedged no bets on who it will be.

“All I know is that I will be part of that wicket” he said.

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