LONDON – Marlon Samuels says there is great confidence in the West Indies dressing room and everyone is well prepared to face India in their second Group B match. The Windies lead the group following their victory over Pakistan last Friday and will return to the Oval for a date with the Indians on Tuesday. First ball is 10:30 am (5:30 am Eastern Caribbean Time/4:30 am Jamaica Time).
“We always enjoy playing against India. We’re definitely looking forward to some good competition,” the 32-year-old Samuels said. “It should be a good game; we are both on two points at the top of the group and a win would take us closer to the semi-finals, so there is a lot to play for when we meet them. We have powerhitters, batsmen who can bat through, allrounders and very good spinners like (Sunil) Narine. So it’s a good balance. We’re just getting stronger.”
Samuels has made a brilliant comeback to the game with some superb performances in the middle-order. Earlier this year he was named one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year, following his outstanding batting on the West Indies tour of England last year.
The stylish right-hander has scored four ODI centuries with some of his best knocks coming against India. He made his maiden century (110 not out) at Vijaywada back in 2002 and also scored an equally impressive 98 off 95 balls in Chennai in 2007.
Outlining his preparation for the ongoing tournament, he stated: “I bat a lot of tape-ball – the rubber ball with tape on one side; it swings a lot. I trained a lot especially before I came to England and it works well for me. So the English conditions don’t really bother me. I really enjoy batting in England, it’s a challenging place and the ball does move around a lot but I enjoy it. This is something you have to work on before you come here,” the Windies Number 7 said.
“I am determined to score a bit quicker, rotate the strike as much as possible. In Test cricket you spend a lot of time out there and wait for the bad balls. It is not so much of a difference batting between both formats. The ball moves around. The hardest part is to get a start in England. Once you get a start, things get easy.”
He added: “I’m batting at four, so I’ve been carrying a lot of load for the team. I’ll definitely continue to play that role and take a lot of responsibility. I’ve been playing the anchor role; I don’t mind that. I have to bat through the innings.
“Whether I have to speed it up or slow it down depends on the situation. A lot of it is a thinking process. At the moment mine is the anchor role so I have to bat through, but I can make up for it at the end. There are still a lot of shots that I can play at the end.”