The West Indies took the same route England had taken to the Super Eights of the ICC World Twenty20 2010 in the Caribbean – without a victory to its name – but Darren Sammy said he didn’t believe that would necessarily mean his team would win this edition of the ICC World Twenty20.
Having got past the first stage on Net Run Rate, also ahead of Ireland like the West Indies did at the Premadasa Stadium on Monday night, England won five matches on the trot on its way to its first global title in 2010.
“I am aware of that (England going through the Super Eights winless) but we are not looking at that,” said Sammy. “We just believe we can go out there and win. Yes, I am aware of what happened back in the World Cup in the Caribbean, but as I said, the most important thing is our belief and we just got to do well in the Super Eights. We have to keep improving our game and hopefully we can go out there and express what we have with us.”
First up in the Super Eights for the West Indies on Thursday in Pallekele is England. “Obviously, England are the defending champions and we don’t want to underestimate anybody,” said Sammy, refusing to read too much into England’s capitulation to spin against India on Sunday. “We just need to go out there and bowl properly and execute our plans. Not just (Sunil) Narine, our fast bowlers also bowled quite well today and everybody seems to be in good shape for the game against England. I am looking forward to it.
“I back our bowlers to come good. They haven’t had a full game and this match saw a much improved performance when compared to the last game. Ravi Rampaul came back well in this game. He may have struggled for confidence after the Australia game (when he conceded 22 in his first over) but he came good for us and did well. Chris Gayle was bowling for us for the first time in international cricket after a while and he came good as well. We have a lot of bowling options and I back our bowlers to restrict other teams. That game against Australia (when the West Indies conceded 100 in 9.1 overs) was a one-off.
"The West Indies hasn’t had a complete game yet – both its matches were hit by rain. “Going into the Super Eights, the mindset is the same,” said Sammy. “We are here and we have strong belief in ourselves and in the team. We believe that we can overcome. The first goal was to reach the Super Eights and we have achieved that. Now we need to start off very well against England.”
Sammy said Narine, his spinning ace, was a keen student and a willing learner. “He has got a few tricks up his sleeve, he is a guy who believes that he can always do new stuff,” remarked Sammy. “He tries new run-ups, new actions, he just looks at improving all the time. The pitches will offer more assistance to him as the tournament progresses and that’s a good thing going into the Super Eights.”
Narine loves it when the batsmen look to attack him. The scoreboard pressure, especially in Twenty20 cricket, makes him a tricky customer to handle. (Shane) Watson played him well in the last game but once he gets going, he will be a handful to put away.”