West Indies captain Darren Sammy said that his team was aiming for a better score-line in this series than they went away with after their tour last year. In a press conference held at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium yesterday, the visiting captain stated that the players were confident and ready for the two-match Test series against Bangladesh that begins today.
“Every year we set targets that we want to achieve. The last time we came here, we drew one Test and won the other one. This year we look to go one further. In the one-day series last year we won two and lost one. We also lost the T20 game. So we'll look to improve on that,” said Sammy.
Providing a hint regarding the visitors' team combination for the first Test match, the all-rounder stated that slow left-arm bowler Verasammy Permaul has a good chance of playing his first Test. “The team selection is a little tricky. There's a combination that we used in the past, but young Permaul has a good chance of making his Test debut. He played here before with the Academy team and has been bowling really well,” said Sammy.
Permaul, who toured Bangladesh in September this year along with the West Indies High Performance side, took 12 wickets in the two longer-version games that he played. He also performed well in the one-day and T20 games.
The captain further stated the importance of the return of Chris Gayle to the side. Earlier, Bangladesh captain, Mushfiqur Rahim stated that they had made separate plans to counter the left-handed opener, who on an average has scored close to 60 runs per innings in Tests against Bangladesh.
“He is the coolest person to bat with. It's good to have his experience at the top. The new ball has affected us in the past so hopefully what he is doing will continue to be beneficial to us,” said Sammy. “Our team is quite balanced. We believe that we can take 20 wickets in this match with whatever combination we have,” he added.
Regarding the wicket, the captain stated that apart from the outfield being re-laid, he didn't see a major change in the conditions and expected the wicket to be slow and similar to the ones on which they played last year. The captain also claimed that the team was ready to perform in the longer version of the game despite being busy with T20 cricket the last couple of months.
“We got a professional unit and it's not the first time we have to transform from T20 to Test cricket. We have prepared well for this tournament. We had a three-day game against the academy team and a national camp back home," added Sammy.