• Friday, December 19, 2014

Freedom in the air

Sammy eyes new Gangnam moment

Atique Anam

In a team of big Twenty20 players such as the West Indies, the name of Darren Sammy often slips under the radar. When you think of match-winners, perhaps the names of Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels and Sunil Narine crops up in your mind instantly. But there is no denying the role that Sammy plays, both as a leader as well as a finisher.
The first player to represent the West Indies side from the small Island of Saint Lucia, Sammy has not only been a good leader but has also been a uniting factor in a side full of big egos. The 29-year-old skipper led West Indies quite brilliantly to their first world title in 24 years when they won the World T20 in Sri Lanka in 2014. Now he is looking for the same in Bangladesh and is confident of repeating the feat.
“It's going to be a challenging tournament, but we believe we have come here with a purpose which is to retain the trophy,” said a confident Sammy at the pre-tournament press conference at the team hotel in Dhaka yesterday. “We stand the chance of doing something that's never been done before and I'm backing the women's team to do the double. It's going to take a hell of a lot but we have confidence in the camp.”
The lead-up to the tournament has been a mixed one for the defending champions as they won the 3-match T20I series against England 2-1 after sharing the two-match series 1-1 against Ireland. But there were a number of positive factors like the performances of Dinesh Ramdin with the bat and the exploits of leg-break bowler Samuel Badree in addition to the good form of Gayle and Samuels.
“We are quite happy with the way the team is playing, in terms of mood of the camp and the form of the players. We will use the two warm-up games to fine-tune the last bit before we take on India on the 23rd,” said the 29-year-old skipper.
Even though Sammy's batting average in T20s is not much to write home about -- owing much to coming late in the order -- it is his explosive batting which holds the key to West Indies' chances of winning in crucial matches. However, Sammy believes it's not only himself, rather the versatility of his players which will help them go a long way.
“There are so many players in the side who can play so many different roles. T20 is about being consistent as a team and winning the key moments in the matches. We have a clear idea about how we are going to go about it,” said Sammy.


And if Sammy's confidence is as good as his leadership skills, there is a good possibility that the world will see the first team to retain their T20 title, come April 6. But there will be no 'Gangnam dance' this time, as Sammy promised his teammates will find a new way to celebrate the occasion.

Published: 12:00 am Monday, March 17, 2014

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