Sammy: Victory essential!

Birmingham, England – Darren Sammy said it was important for West Indies to win the third and final Test against England, starting on Thursday at Edgbaston.


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The West Indies captain said his side had become frustrated with playing competitively in recent Tests without being able to carry on and complete victory.

"We need to learn to competitive for longer [in matches]," said Sammy. "If you look at the Tests – not just the last two – but over the last 1 ½ years, it’s just that bad hour or that bad session we keep having that really takes us out of the game.

"If we could concentrate for longer periods, we would be better. We play four-day cricket at home and matches sometimes finish in 2 ½ or three days, so I guess our concentration span is not as long.

He added: "Playing against the No.1-ranked Test side in the World, you have to be at your best throughout the five days. We have only managed to be at our best in patches.

"Hopefully, we can have longer sessions of play when we have England on the back-foot and we keep them there. It’s going to be tough, but we have confidence that we can execute."

Sammy added it would also be an important morale boost for the side to win a Test against the No.1-ranked Test side in the World.

"We left the Caribbean knowing that beating England was going to be difficult," he said.

"If we could win a Test here in England, it would be a good achievement for this team. We will remind the guys of this and hopefully we can play well over the five days to accomplish this."

Sammy strongly hinted that Sunil Narine will make his Test debut. The mohawk-shawn off-spinner was an injury replacement for Kemar Roach, when the fast bowler returned home with a shin muscle injury.

"Everyone is calling him the ‘mystery’ spinner and he could come in and make an impact for us," said Sammy.

"[England is] a difficult place for spinners to make their debut, but he has a lot up his sleeve and we’re backing him to make an impact. Hopefully, this is the start of something that could be a great Test career.

"He’s very exciting and all of the Caribbean are very excited about having him in international cricket. We’re very happy to have him here."

West Indies trail 0-2 in the Test series, following a five-wicket loss in the first Test at Lord’s in London and a nine-wicket defeat in the second Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.

Rain battled with sunshine when the Caribbean side trained at the match venue on Wednesday afternoon, with the players restricted to mostly indoor practice.

The weather outlook for the first day said cool, wet and windy day with persistent rain turning heavy at times, though perhaps clearing northwards through the evening. Southerly winds becoming very strong and gusty through the afternoon. Maximum temperature: 16 degrees Celsius.