Sammy calls for consistency

“It’s something we are looking at, we may have three fast bowlers with Ravi coming in,” the West Indian captain told newsmen. “So far throughout the Test series, the pacers have been the ones getting the wickets for us. We will look at that and hopefully we could come up with the right eleven to at least salvage a draw or a win here.

“The practice wickets have been good. There’s been something in it for the fast bowlers and the batsmen seem to be playing their shots. Let’s just hope the Test wicket is like that.

If our bowlers decide to bowl short, bowl bouncers, they could get something out of the wicket. We saw in the Caribbean, although Sachin, Sehwag and Gambhir were not present, that when we bowled short, we created some opportunities.”

There are doubts over Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s availability following a calf muscle strain, and Sammy acknowledged as much. “We are monitoring his situation. The experienced player that he is, I guess he will know if he could really make it for us tomorrow but we have to wait until tomorrow to decide.”

Sammy reflected at length on the challenges of leading the Caribbeans against a team like India. “After the India tour of the West Indies, somebody asked me what I had learnt about myself. I think it’s my mental toughness,” Sammy said. “I have to be mentally strong in leading a side that everybody expects to go out and do well. Once we keep showing the improvement, I am quite happy.

“In the last Test, we scored the highest second-innings total by a West Indian team following on, we weren’t rolled over. The team has been playing good cricket. Throughout this series we have competed, we have shown that we are on par with India, we have matched them. It’s about doing that consistently.”

Former skipper Courtney Walsh was a prominent visitor at the West Indian nets on Sunday morning. “Courtney always has advice and he is always willing to share his experience with the team,” Sammy revealed of the interactions with the legend. “Yesterday, he asked the bowlers that we have to be more patient. He told Fidel (Edwards) to take the lead, told him that sometimes, it’s not about getting wickets every ball and that he has to be patient. It’s always good when you have former players passing on their knowledge; that’s something we always welcome.”

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