Revenge not on Sammy’s mind ahead of Sri Lanka tie

"I wouldn't say it is revenge," he said. "If this match was the final then we could think on those lines but it is a group game. There is a long way to go for us."

Darren Sammy listens to West Indies' batting coach Phil Simmons.   -  AP

It was pointed out to Darren Sammy that in their six ICC World T20 meeting, the West Indies had lost five times to Sri Lanka. However, ahead of their match against Sri Lanka tomorrow at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, an optimistic Sammy was quick to remind that the side won the most important one in 2012.

“We won the most important one, which was the final in 2012,” he smiled. “Simple.”

When asked whether the 2014 semi-finals loss will be in mind when they face the Asia side, the West Indies captain insisted revenge was not on his mind.

“I wouldn't say it is revenge,” he said. “If this match was the final then we could think on those lines but it is a group game. There is a long way to go for us.”

Despite their head-to-head record, there is no doubting which of the two captains arrived in Bengaluru for Sunday's ICC WT20 clash with greater confidence.

“This is the home of the 'Universe Boss' (Chris Gayle) and so we are all excited about it,” Sammy said.

“You saw against England. To me the most exciting part of that game was that Chris batted through. Tomorrow's game is very important in the context of how the group is placed. Before we came here, the coach mentioned that every game should be played like a final. And we will do that.”

Sri Lanka's coach, Graham Ford, admitted that the absence of Lasith Malinga from the tournament was a huge blow.

“It has a huge impact,” he said. “One's got to be realistic. With Lasith, it’s not just his experience, but also his brilliant execution of skill. For so long he’s done that death bowling role. For so long he’s been able to strike up front and then finish the innings off so well. Now we’ve got to find somebody to do that. That’s a change for us.

“But it’s definitely had its effect. But there is exciting talent. Inexperienced players do make mistakes but the one thing I know about Sri Lankan cricket is that they are great triers. There are a couple of guys putting their hands up and saying, 'I’ll do that job'. With that sort of attitude I’m sure we can make something happen.”