West Indies captain Darren Sammy is in confident mood ahead of the first Test against Pakistan in Providence and believes his side can defend a proud record.
This is Pakistan's seventh tour of the Caribbean and they have yet to secure a Test series victory and Sammy says that his side can win the two-match series.
“We believe we can win the series," Sammy said. "We believe this because we have worked hard in the build-up to the series and we know we have the ability to perform on home turf and get the better of the Pakistanis. We saw an improved batting performance in the last two matches of the One Day Series and everyone in the team is feeling confident and fully prepared."
After going 3-0 down in the five-match ODI series the West Indies fought back, winning the final two matches and they have followed that up with hard work off the pitch.
“We hope all the hard work we have been doing in the nets and the two-day warm-up match a few days ago, will be transferred into the middle. The way our bowling has been coming along in the last six months in one-day cricket and on the tour of Sri Lanka – we know we are capable of getting 20 wickets.
“We fought back really well to win the last two matches in the One Day format and we will take that momentum and belief into the Test matches. Test cricket is a different form of cricket, so we know we have to make the adjustment. We will have more time, so we will look to be patient as we execute. It’s about occupying the crease and putting good totals on the board when we bat. When we bowl, it’s about being patient and trying to get the ball in the right areas and building the pressure on the Pakistanis.”
But Sammy is aware that there is a huge difference between staying competitive for 50 overs in a one-day game and forcing the issue in Test cricket.
“Test cricket is the ultimate test. It’s what we all play for. I have strong confidence that whatever 11 is selected will go out and do the job for the people of the West Indies. The Test match pitch looks similar to the one we played on in the One Day match here, so I have faith our attack will deliver against what is a good Pakistan team.”
Sammy's optimism comes on the same day that former West Indies captain Carl Hooper was appointed as batting coach of the Sagicor High Performance Centre.
Hooper joins former internationals Richie Richardson (team manager), Ottis Gibson (head coach) and Desmond Haynes (batting coach) on the current West Indies coaching staff.
© Cricket World 2011
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