Sunday, 11 November 2012 13:29
DHAKA: West Indies captain Darren Sammy wants his players to "stay hungry" and to build on recent successes when they meet Bangladesh Tuesday in the first of two Tests.
Sammy's men are buoyed by victory in the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka last month following a 2-0 home Test win over New Zealand.
They are looking to continue the good work in a Bangladesh tour which also includes five one-day games and a Twenty20.
Sammy, who led the West Indies to a 1-0 Test victory over Bangladesh here last year, said his team must maintain the momentum.
"I think World Twenty20 was a great achievement for us but we have got to stay hungry. We can't keep thinking because we won the World Twenty20 that we have turned the corner," he said.
West Indies, a major force in world cricket from the 1970s to the 1990s, slumped miserably in the new century. They have, however, shown an improvement under the unassuming Sammy as captain and hard-working coach Ottis Gibson.
With Chris Gayle in good touch and the ever-reliable Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who has played in 144 Tests, they boost a strong batting line-up.
Gayle plundered 150 and 64 not out in the first Test against New Zealand in July -- his first Test after a two-year exile following a falling-out with the cricket administration.
Sammy said his mission is to win every match.
"We have definitely improved as a team. We are a bit more consistent and won both the Tests against New Zealand and our mission here is to win all matches in Bangladesh," he said.
The West Indies have won four of their eight Tests against Bangladesh. Their 2-0 home series loss came in 2009 when they had to field a depleted squad after main players fell out with the Caribbean cricket board.
Bangladesh have just three wins in 73 games since attaining Test status 12 years ago, but Sammy is not taking them lightly.
"Bangladesh is a team we have never taken lightly, they are always difficult opposition at home," said Sammy, whose team will be without spearhead paceman Kemar Roach.
Roach injured his knee and was replaced by Fidel Edwards in the squad, which also has Sunil Narine, Veerasammy Permaul and Narsingh Deonarine as spinners.
Bangladesh will need to make a big effort in what will be their first Test for 11 months -- a gap which opener Tamim Iqbal termed disappointing.
"Our situation isn't good, we play Tests after long gaps. We should have this mentality of adapting ourselves from one format to the other," said Iqbal.
Bangladesh will rely more on their spinners in the absence of injured paceman Mashrafe Mortaza and have included uncapped off-spinner Sohag Gazi in the 14-man squad.
The second Test will be played in the new venue of Khulna from November 21.
Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012