Darren Sammy loves a laugh whenever he gets the chance and the smile seemingly painted on his face makes the West Indies skipper look like the happiest man in the world. Yesterday was no exception, when the Caribbean captain was found in his usual happy mood on the eve of the second and final Test against a spirited Bangladesh.
And why not? His side came back hard against the Tigers in the final two sessions of the first Test in Mirpur to take a 1-0 lead with a 77-run victory. Sammy & Co might appear a little relaxed but the visiting captain made it clear that they have only one target, which is to win the series by a 2-0 margin.
“We had optional practice yesterday (Monday), but most of the guys are a little relaxed and well rested. We are here to do better than we did in the last game. Last year we drew the first Test, this year we won it. We have one more Test to go and we'll do everything to win this Test match. We want to win the series 2-0,” said Sammy when asked during a pre-match press conference at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium whether his side was relaxed after the hard-fought victory in the first game. That all their players were fit and raring to go must have also contributed to the overall relaxed mood in the camp.
“The goal is to win. We left the Caribbean with the goal of winning both Tests here. We are in an excellent position to do that in Khulna,” he responded to a question about their target in the match.
But once again, Sammy a showed lot of respect to his opponents, who had a lot of positives despite defeat in the first game which saw a neck-and-neck fight before the Tigers were found wanting against the pace and short bowling on the challenging fifth day wicket.
“We have a lot of respect for Bangladesh. I expect the same in Khulna. I expect them to come hard, but if we stick to our line and lengths, we believe we could get 20 wickets,” said a confident Sammy, who also found the wicket similar to the Dhaka one where the batsmen enjoyed batting on a placid track.
The question was raised whether the Tigers' performance in the first Test has reduced the gap between the two teams, The West Indies skipper however was diplomatic about it.
“In cricket you see the No 1 ranked team get defeated by the No.4 ranked team. It is about how you go out and play on the pitch and how patient, consistent and disciplined you are in your approach. On a last day pitch chasing 250-plus is a difficult task. I think it is all in the experience for both teams. We have been in similar situations so its good that we are developing,” he explained.