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Match Reports,07 July 2015

Leie, Phangiso spin South Africa home

WT20 Fantasy

We can defend WT20 title: Sammy

West Indies captain believes side has variety in its bowling and depth its batting to go the distance in the tournament

We can defend WT20 title: Sammy - Cricket News
Darren Sammy believed West Indies had the variety in its bowling attack and depth in its batting line-up.

West Indies captain Darren Sammy believed that the side is well-equipped to defend its ICC World Twenty20 title in Bangladesh.

West Indies won the 2012 edition of the tournament when it beat hosts Sri Lanka in the final in Colombo. 

For the 2014 edition, which starts on March 16, West Indies is placed in in Group B, which includes India, Australia, Pakistan and a yet-to-be-identified qualifier.

Though West Indies is missing a matchwinner in Kieron Pollard, who is unavailable for selection due to injury, Sammy said the side was not short on confidence and believed it could go the distance again.

"There is always pressure, and especially now being world champions, said Sammy to reporters on Friday (March 14). "[But] we've grown as a team, guys have gotten more exposure in Twenty20 cricket, we're more experienced ... the belief in the team is quite high, and it is a little more vocal than it was in 2012.

"We knew we had a chance of winning, but we believed it silently in the dressing room and amongst ourselves. Now we've shown that we can win and we know once we go out and execute. The guys are much more experienced, much more confident and we actually believe, and we are not afraid to say that we can go out and defend the title," he said. 

West Indies sealed a 2-1 victory in the three-match Twenty20 International series prior to arriving in Bangladesh and would hope to build on the momentum. 

"I think we're in pretty good shape," said Sammy. "The best form of preparation is match preparation and in the T20 series against England we showed that we are ready."

Sammy believed West Indies had the variety in its bowling attack and depth in its batting line-up.

"Bangladesh will be different conditions, but we have the armoury to adjust," reasoned Sammy. "We have two world class spinners (Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine), we've got two fast bowlers in (Ravi) Rampaul and (Sheldon) Cottrell and we've got (Krishmar) Santokie who just proved he's world class as well. 

"When you look at our batting, we've got Chris (Gayle) and (Dwayne) Smith at the top, Marlon (Samuels) and (Lendl) Simmons in the middle and (Dwayne) Bravo, myself and (Andre) Russell to finish the game." 

Sammy said the focus was to be consistent and to play for the fans back at home.

"I just want us to continue improving as a team and being consistent, added Sammy. "I heard a speech from Sir Garry (Sobers) last night and he spoke about being consistent and doing consistently well, and that's what brings the success of a team when you go out and play.

"For you to win games, you have to be doing things consistently well. The basics of the game never change. 

"For us as a team, we just have to do that and try when we go out and play, remember the fans and be consistently good. Once we do that with the calibre players that we have, we stand a good chance of being successful."

West Indies's first warm-up fixture is on March 18 against England in Fatullah. It will then face Sri Lanka in its second warm-up game in Mirpur on March 19.

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