Sammy confident of one-day success
West Indies skipper Darren Sammy has warned Wisden Trophy winners England they will face a much tougher test when the NatWest Series begins on Saturday.
Sammy's men suffered a 2-0 defeat in the Investec Test series that concluded at a soggy Edgbaston yesterday, but welcome back a number of their star names - including big-hitting opener Chris Gayle - for the limited-overs leg of their tour.
Even without Gayle, who has not featured in international cricket since the 2011 World Cup, the Windies were able to record an impressive 2-2 draw with world number ones Australia in their last 50-over rubber.
It was understandable, therefore, to hear Sammy speak with confidence when questioned on his side's chances of success in the coming weeks.
"Everybody is really excited about this one-day series and everybody believes we should beat England," he said.
"Looking at the last one-day series we played, we are quite confident as a one-day team."
While West Indies have impressed in the shorter forms recently, their Test record remains desperately poor, yet Sammy rejects the notion that one-day cricket is his team's priority.
"When Ottis (Gibson, the head coach) came on board we set goals and, as a one-day team, looking to win the 2015 World Cup, that's possible," he explained.
"In T20, we could get to the semi-finals in Sri Lanka (where this year's World Twenty20 is being held), if not win.
"In Test cricket, where you need a lot of concentration, it might take more time for us to get back and win games consistently because we've been losing at that level for a long time.
"We are more confident as a team playing one-day and T20 cricket."
One man who did his chances of earning a place in West Indies' one-day side no harm at Edgbaston was Barbadian paceman Tino Best.
Figures of 2-37 represented an encouraging return for a man making his first international appearance in almost three years.
Yet it was his brutal batting that brought proceedings to life on Sunday morning as he swatted a sensational 95 - the highest score by a Test number 11.
Despite enjoying such a successful return to the Windies fold, Best is not expecting to walk into the team for Saturday's first ODI at the Ageas Bowl.
"I'm looking forward to trying to get in the XI," he said. "We have a lot of stars here. We have a very good and unique team.
"Apart from St Vincent in the last game, where we were tied, I think we totally dominated Australia."
Best, the subject of Andrew Flintoff's memorable "Mind the windows" sledge in 2004, believes he has matured in recent years.
When reminded of a phrase previously used to describe him - 'a Ferrari without a steering wheel' - the 30-year-old provided a humorous response, which prompted prolonged chuckles from his captain.
"I think it is a little bit more under control now," said Best.
"I remember back in the day me and (former England paceman) Devon Malcolm had a long chat and he said, 'If people call you a Ferrari without a steering wheel, at least you are a Ferrari.
"'That means you are quality. They are not calling you a Toyota Prius!'"
As Sammy struggled to contain his laughter, Best adopted a more serious tone, adding: "We just had to work on the control.
"I'm understanding bowling and to work with Ottis Gibson is a real honour because he was England's bowling coach and they ascended to number one.
"I will continue to pick Ottis' brain and try to improve my game as a cricketer and improve myself as a person."
There was further humour when Sammy was invited to comment on Denesh Ramdin's controversial celebration upon reaching a century in the third Test.
Ramdin was fined 20% of his match fee after brandishing a piece of paper reading "YEA VIV TALK NAH" in response to criticism from legendary former Windies captain Sir Viv Richards.
After offering his views on the incident, Sammy concluded: "None of us knew what was coming. His first (Test) hundred, a couple of years ago against England, he had a note so probably he should bat with more notes in his pocket."