The West Indies team management was banking on experienced campaigner Marlon Samuels to deliver in Indian conditions.
The 37-year-old's familiarity with the weather and pitches is courtesy the time spent with IPL franchises Pune Warriors and Delhi Daredevils. However, Samuels has failed to make an impact on good batting pitches in the ongoing five-ODI series, with scores of 0 and 13 from two matches. He has bagged just one wicket with the ball.
But Windies coach, Stuart Law, isn't reading too much into this lean patch. “You can write him off at your own peril. He is one of those players who stands up on a big occasion,” Law says.
"We all know what Marlon can do in the finals. He is basically here to help the young kids; we have a very inexperienced squad. He needs to help those young guys learn very quickly on the field and he’s doing a great job,” he adds.
“We have all seen young players around him, be it at practice or at the hotel, on the way to the bus. That is a great sign that he is offering his wealth of 201 games to these young fellas,” the coach says.
Despite Samuels struggling to read Indian spinners—Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal—the coach is confident he will overcome the odds. “Marlon is a good player of spin. That is why he is batting down the order. His job is to come out and combat spin. He looks like he has improved from the first game to the second. Hopefully, he will keep getting better in the third, fourth and fifth (games),” Law notes.
Samuels also found support from captain Jason Holder. “He’s obviously got a wealth of experience and thrives on competition. He’s one of the most competitive players I’ve ever come across. Hopefully, he will pass the knowledge to the younger lot,” Holder says.
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