KHULNA – West Indies captain Darren Sammy started the five One-Day Internationals against Bangladesh publicly stating his desire for a whitewash of his Asian hosts.
But two matches into the series Sammy and West Indies team find themselves trying to stave off receiving just that.
Sammy said this morning he hoped the West Indies could have a change of fortunes when they return to the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka for the last three ODIs of the series (all day-nighters) on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium.
Career-best bowling from Ravi Rampaul failed to inspire the West Indies, as a maiden hundred from Anamul Haque gave the hosts the impetus for a 160-run victory in the second ODI on Sunday at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium.Sammy said it was not beyond his side to win the last three ODIs and clinch the series, but they would need to improve significantly.
“We are going to regroup, but it’s probably a good wake-up call for us, and we’ll have to come back harder.
“We are 2-0 down, but we’re not out. It would not be a wise thing to count us out because we have been in similar situations before and we have bounced back.”
He added: “Bangladesh have played some good cricket and are showing us how to play One-Day cricket on these pitches. They have assessed these conditions well and have played accordingly. We have to take a page out of the book, if we are to win the next one and the two after that.”
Sammy said West Indies had not played to their potential, failing to build significant partnerships and bowl to their plan.
“The brand of cricket that we have been playing, we should play much better. What we have displayed in the last two matches is not what we know we are capable of doing.
“Bangladesh have seized the opportunity and we are on the back-foot now. It doesn’t mean that we can’t go to Dhaka and the change of scenery could bring a change of fortune for us, and keep the series well alive. To be able to achieve this, we definitely have to improve in all areas,” he noted.
Sammy said though the Bangladesh spinners had taken the bulk of the West Indies wickets in the two matches, he did not think his side had any trouble with playing spin.
“I think it is about being more selective. If you look at the calibre of players we have, once we stay at the crease we are going to score runs, but we keep getting out . . . so far we haven’t been able to put good partnerships together.
“We have had our troubles against spin in the past, but we get better once we spend time at the crease and so far none of our batsmen have done so.
“You just got to play what you see and be patient. We know we are a good boundary-hitting team and once our batsmen spend time at the crease, like we showed in the preceding Test matches, it becomes easier for us to play.
Starting XL changes
“But the team’s management might still have to make changes to the starting XI. Lendl Simmons†with scores of 13 and 9 at the top of the order has been out of form. Many believe Kieran Powell should be in the ODI team especially after his two centuries in the Dhaka Test.
There are also issues around the balance of the side with a preference for allrounders, such as Andre Russell†and Dwayne Smith, ahead of specialist quick Kemar Roach. Russell, Smith and Darren Sammy took one wicket between them in the second match while none of them have made the sort of contributions expected from them with the bat, especially under the new fielding restrictions.
The continued struggle of Sunil Narine†has been the major setback. It would not be a huge surprise if Veerasammy Permaul, the left-arm spinner, replaced Narine for the remaining ODIs.
The lack of runs from Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels has also hurt West Indies’ chances. Gayle hasn’t made up his mind on whether to start slowly or blaze away while impressive off-spinner Sohag Gazi†has had the better of the in-form Samuels in both games. Bravo hasn’t done justice to the range of shots he possesses and his ability to play spin bowling in this series by giving away two starts. The early dismissals of Samuels and Bravo against spin have also impacted the rest of the batsmen who have still some way to go when dealing with spinners.
“We have not rotated the strike against spin as much as we could over the last few years. But we get better at it when we spend time at the crease. So far none of our batsmen have done so. In order to score runs you must be present at the crease.”†
Whatever strategy Sammy and team management come up with, it is Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim who is now planning that whitewash. (windiescricket/WG)††