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Sammy rallies Windies

Investec Test Series

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Captain Darren Sammy admits West Indies need to find a winning habit as they prepare to begin the Investec Test series against England.

Their tour has been blighted by inclement weather across the country; only 34 overs were possible in the clash with Sussex before they fell to a 10-wicket defeat against the Lions.

The frustration at not being able to fully practice has been added to by each of their main seam triumvirate - of Ravi Rampaul, Fidel Edwards and Kemar Roach - picking up injury niggles.

Yet the more pressing concern for Sammy is helping his side turn good positions into victories.

“We keep finding ourselves in winning positions and, some way, we keep letting it go,” he admitted.

“When you are playing against a champion team, they find a way to win so we need to do that way when we are on top and not collapse.

“That's been happening to us. We’ve been competing and pushing teams down to the wire; if you look at the last series against Australia, the 2-0 scoreline does not reflect the way we played and hopefully we can eliminate these things in this series.”

On the injured players, he added: “I spoke to the physio and he’s closely monitoring every player.

Darren Sammy

Darren Sammy hopes West Indies can buck their recent trend of not winning, despite being competitive, when they face England

“After training this afternoon we will know if we are going to have all hands on deck but, like you heard, Kemar says nothing is going to stop him playing at Lord’s and that is the attitude of all the players.

“They all want to play at the home of cricket and will put everything aside to play for West Indies.”

West Indies were given a reminder around the ground of the task they face when England skipper Andrew Strauss was today given the mace that comes with being the world’s number-one ranked side.

Facing such a team is a challenge that West Indies’ top order, in particular, will have to be up to.

Yet the tourists have at their disposal the world’s number-one batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who, to boot, has an excellent record against England; he has struck 2,124 runs at an average above 50.

Given the inexperience that surrounds the veteran, Sammy has not ruled moving Chanderpaul up from his familiar role at number five.

“Oh yes it is (tempting),” he said “It is something we’ve spoken with Shiv (about) as well but he’s been doing a fantastic job at number five.

“At the end of the day, we will do what is best for the team. Everybody might have their opinion as to what we should do but Shiv is a very experienced campaigner and I guess he would think about it and see what’s best for the team.”

Should Sammy find himself seeking inspiration on how to beat England, he need look no further than the winter; Strauss’ men slipped to a 3-0 Test defeat against Pakistan before drawing 1-1 in Sri Lanka.

Asked whether this is a good time to play the world’s best, the skipper added: “They are world number one and we expect them to play like world champions. (James) Anderson just got (England) cricketer of the year and he’s been doing really well as have the whole team.

“We left the Caribbean knowing it’s going to be a very difficult challenge but we also know that if we can play well and put runs on the board, we back our bowling attack to get 20 wickets and win a Test match.”

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