Sammy attributes WI success to responsibility

"Responsibility is one of the key words we use in the dressing room. Someone taking the responsibility to bring the team together, not leaving it for anyone in the dressing room," said West Indies captain Darren Sammy ahead of the World T20 semifinal against India.

Darren Sammy: "We are very aware that India is a good team at seizing the momentum."   -  AP

Playing in his fifth World T20, and two matches away from winning his second World T20 title, >Darren Sammy reflects a sense of calm before the storm at the Wankhede Stadium here. In the semifinal on Thursday, West Indies will take on not just India, but the nation as a whole. “It is going to be a hell of a game; it is going to be the West Indies versus 78,000 and many more millions in India. It is a challenge we are ready to face,” said the Windies skipper.

>India 2 WI 2: Who will take the lead?

Sammy underlined responsibility as the key factor that brings out the best from this West Indies squad in this competition. “Responsibility is one of the key words we use in the dressing room. Someone taking the responsibility to bring the team together, not leaving it for anyone in the dressing room. The three games we won, the first game Chris Gayle batted through the innings. It was Andre Fletcher in the second match, in the third one Marlon Samuels took us really close.”

>'India-friendly' pitch likely for the India v West Indies semifinal

But this factor didn't kick in, in West Indies’ last group game. Afghanistan >pulled the rug from West Indies, but the outcome had no bearing on semi-finals qualification. “We did not have that against Afghanistan chasing a low total. It is about each person taking ownership of the job required out there (to win),” said Sammy.

All about momentum

Sammy emphasised that his squad can get better. “We haven’t played the perfect game yet, we stressed on rotation of strike. We are a big boundary-hitting team, we look at the dot-ball percentage, probably we could improve on that. So far, we bowled really well. On a few occasions, batsmen have taken responsibility. It is going to be a 240-ball event. It is about momentum,” he said.

Sammy understands India’s capability, but is focused on his team’s abilities. “We are very aware that India is a good team at seizing the momentum. Once we don’t let them win too many events in those 240 balls, we are backing ourselves to do it,” he said.

Sammy, whose all-round show (2 for 6 and 26 not out) played a part in West Indies' World T20 title win in Colombo in 2012, has not had to do much with bat or ball this time. He scored an unbeaten half-century against Australia in a warm-up game. But in the two matches of the tournament he has batted in, Sammy scored 0 and 6.

Team first

“I have always played with a smile on my face. When the tough times come, I always say that many people have a job they wake up and go to, not because they want to, but because they have to. I enjoy what I am doing. All good things must come to an end. I have never let criticism affect me. My strongest assets are my mind and will power. I believe in myself and put the team first at all instances,” Sammy said.

He explained that West Indies' success under him in Twenty20 is about captaincy and quality of players in the squad. “I think it is a combination of both tactical awareness and personnel in the dressing room. You look at the two sides (West Indies and India) and notice T20 experience in the dressing room. You look at the IPL, the guys coming in with so many games under their belt.”

Sammy spoke of match-winners in both camps, explaining how both teams have been formidable in the format. “You have Chris Gayle in the dressing room, the best T20 batsman in the world, his record speaks for itself. On the other hand, you have somebody like Virat Kohli in India’s team, there are M. S. Dhoni, Suresh Raina... We have quality players in Dwayne Bravo, Samuel Badree and Suleiman Benn, it is a good combination which allows you to win matches.”

Support Sportstar

Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

Special Editions