DHAKA, Bangladesh – Darren Sammy said West Indies were under little additional pressure to succeed against hosts Bangladesh in their upcoming, two-Test series, the first since they won the ICC World Twenty20 Tournament.
The West Indies captain said winning the World T20 was a major achievement for his side, but it would only provide motivation for the players to push themselves harder to do well in other versions of the game.
“International teams are always under pressure to perform,” he said at a media conference on Wednesday here. “We came on this tour to do one thing – to win – like we did last year – and to win in all three formats.
“We have improved as a side over the last few years and a number of players have come on board. We are a little bit more consistent and, in the last Test series we played against New Zealand, we won both Tests and performances came from different players.”
Sammy added: “It is more of a belief factor. We have played some good series over the years where we were competing against high-ranked teams, now we believe we can be even more competitive and get results over higher-ranked teams. We have a team goal which we want to achieve, but this is going to be a step-by-step process.
“It’s important to come here and win every match and it’s a challenge we put on ourselves. Just like we forced ourselves to try and win the World T20, we achieved that and we are now looking forward to the next series which is against Bangladesh. We believe we can achieve our goals.”
Sammy said the presence of players like Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Marlon Samuels gave West Indies depth in their batting and probably the edge in the series. He warned however, West Indies could not take Bangladesh lightly.
“We have got an experienced batting line up. Last year, we came here without Gayle who is now in the team, while Chanderpaul is still one of the best Test batsmen in the World and Marlon Samuels is in good form.
“We have young players like Darren Bravo and Kirk Edwards that had a good series here the last time. . .and we have Sunil Narine.”
He said: “We are quite confident in the players we have and what we could do, and we just need to execute our plans. I think we have got a good balance and are just looking to come out and perform consistently.
“Bangladesh is a team we have never taken lightly, they are always difficult opposition at home, so we have a lot of respect and will do our best to win.”
West Indies continued their preparations on Wednesday afternoon for the series with a full practice session, including nets at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium here, where the first Test will take place.
They were due to start a three-day match against the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI on Thursday.
But this match has been reduced to two days and is now set to start on Friday due to a soaked outfield at the BKSP Ground in Savar, about 25 miles north of the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka.