Sammy: Spin killing Windies, but success not far away

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ImageDESPITE acknowledging a vulnerability against spin bowling, new West Indies white-ball coach Daren Sammy does not think the regional team is “far off” from being world-beaters again. On May 12, 2023 Sammy was appointed West Indies T20 and One-Day International (ODI) coach. Andre Coley, who was the West Indies interim coach for all three formats since Phil Simmons resigned in late 2022, was named the Test coach. West Indies are ranked seventh in the T20 format and tenth in ODIs, but Sammy is confident a change in fortunes is not a lofty goal. Sammy knows how it feels to reach the pinnacle of world cricket as he led West Indies to two World T20 titles in 2012 and 2016. In his first interview with journalists after being appointed, Sammy said, “Numbers don’t lie. We are at number nine and number eight respectively,” Sammy said, quoting out-of-date rankings. “We are (ranked) there for a reason. We have not been consistent enough, but when I look at the data ahead of me, what we have done in the last five years, what we have done in the last few years (and) where we have been losing games at different stages, we are not far off, and that (gives me) excitement.” Sammy said one or two poor periods in a match often cost West Indies matches. “When I look at what openers are doing in the world versus what we are doing – we are not far off. Different stages of the game where spin is killing us between overs number 11 to 40 is areas we can improve… "When I look at the one percenters, if we could improve in certain areas and just be more aware of the situation, probably a different mindset, better skills, better executions – we are not far off.” Sammy said he has embraced the task at hand. “I understand the challenges that come with the role, but in doing so it is not one that fears me. I am quite excited about the challenges because (of) what we have, and understanding the task at hand.” The St Lucian icon said once he understands what the job requires he believes he can succeed. He said he will keep positive people around him and ignore the detractors. “Block out the noise because I have had to do that throughout my career.” The new West Indies white-ball coach said it must be a collective effort in improving the performance of West Indies. “My coaching style is similar to my captaincy style. The first thing I said when I spoke to my staff, I said when we pack our bags, leave the ego at home…Yes I am the head coach, but it takes a team effort in order to move things forward.” He said cricket is not tennis or golf where it is one individual. Sammy said he must be in sync with both T20 captain Rovman Powell and ODI captain Shai Hope. Players understanding their role is key to stronger performances, said Sammy. “One of the things we are quite clear on is just having that positive mindset in the dressing room, making sure that role definition is quite clear with the players. With that comes accountability, it gives you that sense of where we are heading with clear roles for different players.”The post Sammy: Spin killing Windies, but success not far away appeared first on Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

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