Kingston: Jun 24,2011
By Paul Mitchell
West Indies captain Darren Sammy said drastic action was needed to solve his side’s batting crisis, following a 63-run defeat by India in the first Test on Thursday.
Sammy said problems with the West Indies batting dated back more than a decade, and jokingly suggested that the time had come for some extreme measures.”Maybe, the best thing for us is to bring back (Garry) Sobers, Viv (Richards), (Clyde) Walcott, all of our batting greats,” he said.On a more sombre note, he added: “Whoever is picked to represent West Indies, I think the onus is on the player to put the team in a good position, whether batting or bowling.”All of the players have been doing extra work in the nets. It’s normally good, and the batting coach is happy with the way the guys are hitting the ball, and the drills they are doing.”In the end, you do not score runs in the nets. You have to go out in the middle, and do what’s necessary for the team. The coaches can only talk.”Sammy pursued the theme that has echoed throughout his side’s home international season, which started with a series against Pakistan.He said the time had come for the batsmen to mirror the efforts of the bowlers, by taking on more responsibility.
“I think, as professionals, the players go out there, and try to do the best for the team,” he said.”Sometimes, it does not come off, and for us — as a batting unit — most of the time, it has not come off. I still believe the players are trying hard.”But it’s about being more mentally focused when you are out there in the middle, and do whatever it takes to put your team in a good position.
“The way, for instance, Rahul Dravid played, and Harbhajan Singh came and took charge of the situation. We need more guys to take charge.”Dravid earned the man-of-the-match award, following his 32nd Test hundred of 112 in the second innings that put India firmly on the road to victory, leaving West Indies to vainly chase a target of 326.Harbhajan scored 67 in the Indian first innings, batting with enterprise in a century, seventh-wicket stand with Suresh Raina that helped India recover from 85 for six and reach 246.
Sammy said it was also important for his side to recognise and win crucial moments in games, something which they have failed to do in recent matches.”This has been the case throughout the home series for us,” he said.”The games have been coming down fairly close, so it needs to be about us winning the key moments.
“When we had them 85 for six in the first innings, we should have restricted them to a much lower total. We then had a chance to bat, and go into the lead, but we trailed by 73 runs.
“I do not think there are too many differences between the teams, but it’s about us finding that way to capitalise on the key moments in the match.”
Sammy conceded that the defeat was a setback, but said all was not lost as there are two matches remaining in the series for the hosts to get things right.”We still have to be positive because it’s a three-Test series,” he said. “We are going to Barbados for the next Test, and we need to pick ourselves up.”He added: “Just as my team-mates believe in me, I believe in them. We try to keep a positive feeling around the dressing room.” West Indies captain Darren Sammy (L) celebrates on June 22.