SPORTS

Samuels: There Are No Easy Teams In The Twenty20 World Cup

BANGALORE, India, CMC – Batsman Marlon Samuels has warned there are no easy teams in the Twenty20 World Cup and says West Indies must treat every game like a final, if they are to win the tournament.

cricket ball & batWest Indies opened their campaign with an emphatic six-wicket victory over England in Mumbai last Wednesday, and now face reigning champions Sri Lanka here on Sunday in their second game.

Samuels, who played a key role in the win over England, believes while that success was vital, the Caribbean side needed to refocus for the coming fixtures.

“We want to take everything from this game in terms of where we can improve and learn from this game going into the next game,” Samuels said.

“Sri Lanka is a very dangerous team and in the shorter format you can’t take any team for granted so you have to go out there and play against every team like it’s a final so if we have six games, we have six finals. That’s the attitude we have to go into all these games with.”

West Indies are in a tough Group 1 where they also clash with the likes of South Africa and minnows Afghanistan, who gave Sri Lanka a stern test in their opening encounter on Thursday.

However, the Windies boast an array of experienced T20 players like Chris Gayle, Andre Russell and Darren Sammy and emerging players like Jason Holder and Carlos Brathwaite.

The side was hit with several withdrawals prior to the tournament but Samuels said this had not impacted the team adversely.

“We lost a couple of players within the last couple of weeks – (Sunil) Narine, (Kieron) Pollard, very good T20 players – but nevertheless, we replaced them with players that are hungry. We have Jason (Holder) here and Carlos (Brathwaite) here and Ashley (Nurse),” Samuels pointed out.

“We replaced them with players who can step up to the plate so yes, the vibes are here and this is the format that we have been good in and as long as we play and get our all-round cricket together, we will be unstoppable in this tournament.”

While Gayle’s remarkable unbeaten hundred carried West Indies to victory against England, it was Samuels who set up the victory with a cameo 37 at the top of the order.

His innings accounted for his side’s momentum early in their run chase and the Jamaican said his aggressive approach had always been part of his plan, especially after the early loss of opener Johnson Charles.

“Every batsman wants to get more runs, every bowler wants to get more wickets but the most important thing is we lost an early wicket … so it was for me to just continue the momentum,” he said.

“I just put a little venom out there and just went out and played freely. I tried to stick to the team plan which is to reach fifty in the first six overs.

“If Chris was going, I would be the one that rotated and gave him the strike but Chris saw that I was going and playing well so he was just looking to give me the strike so it works that way when you’re in a team environment.”

“The player that is going takes the pressure off the next player [at the crease]. You let him face more balls and play freely.”

He added: “Overall, it was a team effort. We can improve in the outfield and we can still improve in the bowling. From here on in, we’re looking to improve.”

Readers Bureau

Edited by Jesus Chan

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